Fred Kennett has been producing his fine pen and ink drawings for the past thirty years. The influence of his various careers and life experiences can be clearly seen running through his work and is an integral part of his development.
Fred has been with his partner Gill for over thirty years and they have two children and six grandsons. Although Fred has spent the majority of his life in Kingston-upon-Hull, he has also lived in London and Wakefield.
ABSENCE AND OPPORTUNITY
Fred’s work as an artist ran for many years alongside his other role as a merchant seaman, a job which took him away from home for various lengths of time. However, this also offered him a valuable opportunity, while on leave, to pursue his first love – creating these amazing works of art. There are now some examples on the site of the pictures he created after visiting some of the derelict whaling stations in South Georgia. “I like the industrial dereliction they represent. Old industrial buildings in decay really lend themselves to pen & ink with the different types of brickwork, steelwork and rubble”. Fred also enjoys drawing old steam tugs, coasters and trawlers as “they have so much more character than the modern ones”.
EXHIBITIONS AND AWARDS
Fred has held many exhibitions in London, (He has exhibited at the Royal Academy), Hull, Wakefield and Huddersfield. He was short listed for an award at Yorkshire Television; indeed, this resulted in the television company purchasing a piece of his work to hang in their foyer. He won the Sir William Lawrence Prize at The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists Media Exhibitions in December 05 and presently is in the process of entering his work in various ongoing exhibitions. For the last two years The Hull City Council’s Library Service has presented framed prints of Fred’s work to the well known and respected authors Tim Bowler, Justin Richards and Elizabeth Laird, winners of their Children’s Book awards.
MEDIUM AND DETAIL
Fred’s work predominantly uses the medium of pen and ink. The actual sizes of the pictures vary enormously. They all, however, no matter how large or small, contain the same singularly detailed and minute focused attention that has become his hallmark. When Fred first started drawing he used felt tipped pens, but did not find them very satisfactory in that there was a limit to the effects he could achieve. Later he discovered mapping pens and this allowed him to get more detail. Eventually, he used technical pens and ‘did not look back’. Having had an opportunity to try out many different pens for the Artists & Illustrators Magazine, Fred will now incorporate them into much of his future work. Over the years he has developed his techniques and now thinks of the larger pieces as ‘paintings’. “I like the detail and the building up of shadows and depth with straight lines”.
SUBJECT AND INFLUENCE
Although Fred is attracted to the works of Seurat, Hopper, Klee and Lowry, the subject and overall design of Fred’s individual work can be described as eclectic and is as varied as the artist’s own wealth of experience and breadth of interests. The West Yorkshire architecture and industrial landscape are apparent. The seafaring aspects of his work can be seen to reflect not only his career in the merchant navy but his roots in the city of Hull, while the abstract element seems to rely very much on individual interpretation.