Arts & Culture

Into the Woods Landscape Inspired Artist-in-Residence Thomas Jackson

Known for his fine art photography that combines landscapes, sculpture and kinetc art.

After a decade of working in wide open spaces—coastal prairies, beaches, deserts and more—a residency at Art Farm at Serenbe was a chance to get back to where visual artist and photographerThomas Jackson’s installation practice began: in the woods.

The artist is known for his fine art photography that combines landscapes, sculpture and kinetic art. His site-responsive installations, which he creates and photographs on location, pair brightly colored, manufactured materials with the ephemeral beauty of natural landscapes. A Serenbe resident who purchased one of Jackson’s works from Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta suggested to the Art Farm that he might make a great artist in residence, and through a collaboration with the renowned art gallery that coincidentally shares Jackson’s name, the idea was realized in spring 2023.

“The essence of my work is juxtaposition. I take [objects] that don’t seem like they belong and bring them into equilibrium with the environment. So much of what we do as humans is try to get nature to conform to us. A lot of the pieces I create do the opposite, mimicking the contours of the landscape, moving with the wind and responding to natural light as it changes,” said Jackson.

When Jackson visited Serenbe, he found lush, sun-dappled forests carpeted in wildflowers, humming with wildlife.After walking 10 miles in one day, he was inspired to create three installations that became four photographs in his “Thomas Jackson x Serenbe”series.

“The installations I made at Serenbe feel different from other work I’ve done in recent years. They’re more intimate, more enmeshed with the environments they inhabit. I feel like I’ve tapped into a new range of emotions with these images, thanks to the context of a verdant Georgia forest in springtime," said Jackson, whose prior locations have included Nantucket; Napinoch, New York and Tiburon in Northern California.

The first installation in the woods featured multiple long pieces of colorful tulle that swayed over a lush wooded scenery, and produced two beautiful photographs, “Tulle No. 51” and“Tulle No. 51 (Variant).” To persuade the tulle to move amongst the trees,Jackson borrowed leaf blowers and tapped some volunteer helpers from thecommunity. The second piece, “Tulle No. 52,” also showcased the ethereal fabric; this time, as it danced like fire in the middle of Serenbe’s wildflower meadow. Jackson said when the sun was low in the sky, a magical spotlight came through the trees and illuminated the exact center of the installation. For his third piece, “Cups No. 6,” Jackson purchased yellow solo cups from a nearby store in Palmetto. The vibrant material was strung from tree to tree, contrasting with the woodsy setting and complementing the “super-bloom” of yellow wildflowers beneath it. Listening closely, one could hear it simulate its own clicks and hums amongst its bird and bug counterparts, which was especially lyrical during a rainstorm.

These artworks were part of a pop-up Jackson Fine Art gallery show within the community last September, with10% of proceeds going to support the Art Farm Special Projects Council. He was also the 2023 Decorative Arts Fellowship recipient for the fall Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Serenbe Designer Showhouse, and three of Jackson’s large format photographs were featured in the showhouse living room designed by Hope Austin.

Collaboration has burgeoned as a theme in more of the artist’s recent installations. It began with a surrender to working closely with nature and not fighting its elements, then bloomed into a collaborative effort at Serenbe, and continued to be a big part of another2023 public installation in Tiburon, California near San Francisco on a coastal outcropping. A team of volunteers helped Jackson create hundreds of windsock puffs of tulle attached to a rim of wire hoops and a fiberglass rod rigging system, a work he called “Collaborative Nature.”It looked like “billowing explosions of color, swaying above ground in a flock of birds or a swarm of fish, entirely out of place on a wind swept hillside,” said the San FranciscoChronicle.

“Part of the appeal of [my installations] is their fragility,” said Jackson.

In addition to publicinstallations and private collections, Jackson's photographs can be found inthe collections of Delta Airlines, JP Morgan Chase, United Talent Agency in LosAngeles and Berkshire Partners, among others. You can also find his work at theUniversity of Oregon, MIT and The Center for Photography in Woodstock,Massachusetts.

View the Photography Collaboration

To purchase a piece by Thomas Jackson, contact Jackson Fine Art, Learn more about Art Farm at Serenbe and upcoming events by visiting

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