Darla Jackson’s sculptures are an exploration of human emotions. She begins with an emotion, something relatable to anyone, and often uses the familiarity of animal forms to bring it to life. Some pieces deal with loss and sadness, others fear or anxiety, and some, like Jackson’s Baby Goat Ladder, are all about enjoyment and play. Her Continental Bunnies in our General’s Parlor help us tell the story of nearby Valley Forge, and her Golden Cows are the perfect addition to our First Bake Cafe & Creamery.
Jackson uses body language, symbolism, and what she considers her “anthropomorphism of animals” to “convey emotions and ideas in a way that is more approachable for viewers. The end result is familiarity with an oddness that makes it compelling.” This innovative approach is seen in our General’s Parlor where her Continental Bunnies are stoic, proud, sharp-eyed and on the lookout, climbing, and doing the work they may have seen done by soldiers. Most of our soldiers during the Revolutionary War were civilian colonists, farmers, and artisans. Called “minutemen” for their quick transition to soldiers, they faced undeniable hardships while participating in the independence of our nation. Envisioned as bunnies, Jackson’s interpretation allows a lighthearted and thought-provoking perspective into the serious work of the soldiers at Valley Forge.
Jackson, a sculptor living in Philadelphia, founded the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, a membership-based community sculpture studio, after receiving John S. and James L. Knight Arts Challenge Grants in 2011 and 2013. With a BFA in sculpture from Moore College of Art & Design in 2003, Jackson’s work has been shown in numerous exhibitions in and around Philadelphia and the U.S., as well as internationally in Belgium and Germany. She has lectured about her work at venues including The Barnes Foundation, and currently teaches figure modeling at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, animal sculpture at the Fleisher Art Memorial, and mixed media sculpture at Stockton University.
Baby Goat Ladder
Polyurethane Resin, 2017