Katherine Jones is an artist who works in painting, installation, book arts and printmaking. Her prints are a beautiful mix of collagraph, intaglio, aquatint and block print with translucent gradations of colour that convey atmosphere and light. The marks she makes are an intriguing play between fragile drawn lines in drypoint and subtle washes of inky aquatint, which draw the eye in, while areas of semi-translucent block-printed colour seem to float above the picture plane.
Recently awarded multiple printmaking prizes in the UK, including the Pushing Print and Northern print prizes, in 2009, and a Birgit Skiold Memorial Trust prize in 2010, her work is becoming recognized for its strong iconography, its depiction of light, its sense of scale and space, and its sheer technical brilliance.
More recent works returned to an exploration of thoughts about transience, with houses fragmented and dissolving into their background. She says that she uses houses in her prints as a metaphor to express abstract concepts such as the fallibility of places we assume secure and unchangeable, and various retellings of the same tale.
Describing how she develops her imagery, Jones points out that her house motif is a fundamental one that we first draw as children when we look at our world. She says the taps into imagery from her imagination and pursues a vision of an image until the print medium takes control of the process.
She explains: I start off with a solid idea but struggle to keep that idea going. After a while, you have to trust the image and give up trying to hold on to it and let it go on its own. I normally draw a lot, draw onto the plates directly, and each print goes through masses of stages. I work like a painter, in layers, and there may be 20 proofs before the image feels right. The images are incredibly simple. I make a drawing that’s best for the subject: if texture, then collagraph: if flatter shapes, then an etching: and add and take away from that. I make prints to consolidate my ideas, they are a culmination of quite a few things…