Katherine Jones (born 1979 in Sussex, England) makes imaginative and luminous compositions marked by a wealth of contrasts and textural details. An avid reader, Jones gleans ideas for her work from literary sources and films, as well as from current events covered in the radio programs she listens to while working. Often repeating a certain motif over and over in the course of a series, Jones sinks her teeth into a subject and renders familiar and fantastical imagery in a manner that is both profound and playful, raw and exquisite.
As the winner of the Printmaking Today Prize in 2014, Jones wrote the following account of her work for that publication.
“I work in series and … my work is earnest and carefully researched. Past projects originate from a plethora of sources, ranging from collaborations on artist’s books with writers and poets, to fragments of audio and film footage.
“Since becoming a mother ..., life and work have changed significantly. My attempt to navigate the divide between motherhood and … the art world has not only made me braver, but also far more determined. Work and children, and the necessary links between the two have come to inform my practice and influence my choice of subject matter…. The archetypal playground and the things a child uses on a daily basis have now become a vehicle for describing perennial contrasting themes of safety and vulnerability. Impressions of those familiar objects specifically made for the process of childhood play and experiment, have been manipulated to appear as fallible and unreliable as they are dependable and secure.
“I don’t have a loyalty to any particular medium within print. In terms of technique, I use whatever comes to hand, and maintain a healthy disregard for the accepted way of working. The materials which make up a plate are irrelevant to me—what matters is their ability to transfer and impress ink onto paper in the desired way. Maintaining a flexibility of technique is crucial, as my prints usually evolve significantly through the lengthy proofing process.
“This approach has led me to use collagraph—a form of printmaking that can be used for both relief and intaglio. The plate can be made just as well with a paper base as with an etching plate, and can comprise a variety of textures, which pick up and transfer the ink in different ways. A plate can be chopped up easily, and internal parts can be quickly replaced, allowing work to be fluid and painterly.”
Recent solo exhibitions in which Jones’s work has been shown include The Iron in the Earth, Rabley Gallery and Drawing Centre, Wiltshire, UK (2021); We Grew The Long Bones, Eton College, Windsor, UK and Jeannie Avent Gallery, London (2020); and The Precious Hours, Rabley Drawing Centre (2018). Jones’s work is in numerous public collections such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; Yale University Library; the Boston Athenaeum; Eton College; the University of Warwick Art Collection; Swarthmore College; and Wellesley Library.
Jones received her BA (Hons) in printmaking from the Cambridge School of Art, and her MA in printmaking from the Camberwell College of Arts in London. She lives and works in London.