Katherine Jones - Inside is Dry Land

Katherine Jones - Inside is Dry Land

30 September - 30 October 2010

A fragile structure of membranous walls separate interior and exterior worlds. In Katherine Jones's first solo exhibition at jaggedart, feelings of shelter and protection are explored in beautiful yet mysterious works.

Winner of the Birgit Skiold Memorial Trust Award at The London Art Book Fair 2010 at the Whitechapel Gallery.

jaggedart is delighted to present Katherine Jones’s first solo show at the gallery. The exhibition includes prints, watercolours and three dimensional pieces.

A glowing fragile structure of membranous walls surrounded by dark and threatening woodlands frequently appears in Katherine work. A symbol of shelter and protection, the recurring image of a house explores the relationship between interior and exterior worlds, and contrasting concepts ranging from perceived protection to insubstantiality and vulnerability.

Each of the pieces has its own separate origin but, using the shape of a house or shelter, Katherine has made a series of works which have an instant visual connection and can be read in sequence, linking these ideas. Strong lines divide the image, while the houses emit a light and energy. The viewer peers through to a sense of intimacy and warmth, but Katherine’s work has sinister undertones.

Katherine highlights the delicate nature of man-made structures through her depictions of the house or dwelling in a natural environment. While the form is repeated, each piece retains a particular beauty and individuality. The repetition is sometime reassuring, sometime disquieting.

The background for the work in this exhibition ranges from research into Joseph Paxton’s monumental Crystal Palace to the loss of homes on eroding coastlines as environmental changes occur.

The two prints Paxton’s Glass House I and II illustrate the first A-frame glass house designed for domestic gardeners and one of its many modern successors. The initial research was into the immensely ambitious construction and rapid demise of monumental structures as the Great Stove at Chatsworth House and the Crystal Palace at Sydenham. The Great Stove housed among other things the exotic flora and fauna brought to England via the slave routes and so called ‘voyages of discovery.’ In this way, today’s domesticated English country garden plants carry with them a harrowing history of upheaval and repression.

Ultimately, these early cathedrals of the industrial age were extremely vulnerable and were either dismantled or, in the case of the Crystal Palace, succumbed to the primeval forces of wind and fire. The lines which form a net hanging underneath the glass houses in each print loosely attempt to reflect and acknowledge this complex history.

The title print Inside is Dry Land, and also The Vanishing Land, depict ghost-like house shapes which appear to float in above the sea. The idea for the work stemmed from a piece on BBC Radio 4 regarding family homes in the coastal town of Skipsea North Yorkshire which were being washed away due to coastal erosion. The work questions what happens to a person’s sense of home when theirs now exists only as a memory. In the western world we tend to think of our immediate environment and the place that we live in as constant and dependable. These pieces address the idea of belonging verses displacement.

Concurrently, Katherine has created High Light Bell. This beautifully conceived work resembles a book, which opens to reveal a three dimensional house, formed from delicate etched images – a strong form rendered in fragile materials.

Katherine’s etchings and collagraphs display a myriad of accomplished print techniques. She works with traditional forms of printmaking in conjunction with drawing and watercolour. She has been working as the research fellow in Printmaking at the City and Guilds for the last three years and also works from Julian Trevelyan's former studio at the home of Mary Feddon RA in Hammersmith.

Alongside the prints, a selection from a large series of watercolour studies that offer a unique insight into her working process will be on show. Printmaking entails a slow and meticulous process, whilst these paintings display a refreshing and raw aspect to her work. Katherine approaches each painting like a diary entry, recording information and expressing it in a sketch format.

Katherine has just been awarded the Birgit Skiöld Memorial Trust Award for the exhibited book High Light Bell at The London Book Art Fair at the Whitechapel Gallery. The panel included Richard Price, Head, Modern British Collections, The British Library, Elizabeth James, Documentation Manager, The National Art Library at the V&A, Gill Saunders, Curator of Prints at the V&A and Trust representatives Marc Balakjian and Victoria Bartlett. The winning book has been donated by the Trust to the National Art Library at the V&A.

Other selected recent awards include the Northern Print Biennale Solution Group Prize 2009, the London Print Studio Award 2009, the T N Lawrence and Son print prize 2009, the Oriel Wrexham - Intaglio Printmaker Award 2009, and the East London Printmakers Great Art Prize 2009.