In honor of our second gallery opening, featuring the Washington Printmakers Gallery, we present to our readers one of the artists in the show, Jenny Freestone. Freestone uses natural forms as her source material. Leaves, trees, bodies- her subjects are a hushed celebration of life. Her prints, From Siem Riep and Landscape (Australia), feature nature in conjunction with architectural forms. This is not a juxtaposition of industry and nature, but rather an unexpected and quiet harmony. All of Freestone’s prints reinforce the bond between the human endeavor and the natural world. In this respect, her prints are meditative, spiritual, and, ultimately, beautiful.
Freestone begins with a drawn or photographed subject, and then studies and learns the characteristics of that subject before beginning the printmaking process. She incorporates many printing techniques in her art- the crisp line of an etching, usually coupled with the soft line of a lithograph and drypoint. She also uses the gravure method to reach her desired tonality. It is apparent that Freestone pays extraordinary attention to shade, texture, and depth in order to capture the true likeness of her subjects.
It is perceptible that Freestone’s prints do not reflect an idealized nature. Rather, they are genuine representations of life and the natural world. She highlights the natural processes of growth and decay and celebrates the irregularities of her subjects. As her artist statement reads, her prints are “a metaphor for the human condition- its attainments and failures, and its impact on the environment”. Her prints do not just hint at this, but rather exude it. In From Siem Riep, Freestone highlights the delicate curl of a leaf, accentuating the plant’s crumpled and crinkled folds in all of its volumetric glory. The leaf is supported by a thin swoop of a line, floating in a bold and dark rectangular box. In Landscape (Australia), a tree is contained and sustained by crisp shapes and lines- a delicate and on point balancing act of architecture and nature.
Freestone is a UK national, but currently lives in Maryland. Her work is in the collections of The Library of Congress, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Hunt Institute, National Museum of Women in the Arts, The Smithsonian Institute, and Georgetown University, to list a few. She has done one-person and group shows both nationally and internationally. A current board member of Pyramid Atlantic and a member of the Washington Printmakers Gallery, Freestone is a talented and busy D.C. artist, whom we are honored to present at our gallery.
We invite you to view Freestone’s work during our gallery reception tonight, from 5 to 8pm, at The Old Print Gallery in Georgetown. Her work, along with others by the Washington Printmakers Gallery, will be on display on the walls through January 14, 2011.