Frederick Jones

Frederick Jones

I have been making and showing prints nationally and internationally since 2005; I work chiefly in mezzotint, and wood engraving. On the surface, my prints are chiefly urban and very often figurative, and they aim to catch the textures and effects of light of the everyday world. The main influences on my work have been Dutch and Northern European painters and printmakers. For me, in a successfully achieved mezzotint there is a glow through the darkness of the print. The process is like sketching over and over again in the same place so that the lights get lighter; but at the same time this constant revisiting of the design is like building time into the final image in its texture of atomic strokes of light– not just a moment, but a complex experience and re-experience of a moment superimposed over and again. In all my printmaking, I want to catch the moment that contains more than itself – it contains layers of other moments experienced directly or through art. But I am also concerned with the abstract geometries, grids, and spirals etc, which underlie the world of appearance - windows, avenues, stairways, tiled bathrooms, the co-presence of the human form (with its curves) and the grid-like matrix of bathroom tiles - because so much of our modern life is lived in grid-like structures, I think that the grids in my prints have a metaphoric extension. Line is much more obvious in wood engraving than in mezzotint; every wood engraving is a game with a new approach to lines. For example, the people in the wood engravings are often like nets of sine waves, although they are living beings too with their own thoughts and feelings. There is also a game with making images that flow and ripple out of the dry material of wood. But as well as line, there is the ‘sparkle’ that wood engravings can have with their interwoven pure blacks and whites.