about

Iona Howard
My prints use figuration and abstraction to portray the landscape. The sources can come from working in the open air or expressing landscape filtered through memory. The physicality of my approach to the printing process combined with a contemplative exploration of surface makes the subject spontaneous and vibrant whilst capturing an intimate connection with the landscape.

I am captivated by the ancient semi-natural landscapes typical of my native west Cornwall where a blurred line exists between nature and human activity. Recent works of the Fens focus on the meeting point of land, horizon and sky, their flatness altering the perception of distance. My work has gradually evolved from my monochromatic studies by introducing colour to reflect the Fens’ ever-changing mood and light. I draw inspiration from sites which have a particular sense of place; the catalyst for my most significant pieces of work.

My plates are predominantly carborundum, a technique where a mix of a binder and carborundum grit is applied onto the surface of a plate and inked up. It provides highly embossed, velvety textures and rich, dense tones. This medium allows the freedom to work on a large scale in the same way as approaching painting. To contrast the carborundum, drypoint is added to produce an incised line, characteristically thin, linear and precise. Colour is introduced by layering carborundum plates or more often realised though monoprint. I print to the edge of the paper to leave the composition as unconstrained as the landscapes from which I seek inspiration.

I have been collaborating for the last three years with Kate Caoimhe Arthur, Fenland Poet Laureate 2017. This collaboration has taken a variety of forms, walking in the Fens, staging talks and exhibitions at Cambridge Contemporary Art and Cambridge Drawing Society, sound recording and creating numerous prints and poems. Our work explores the concept of the sublime, the senses of home and alienation in a humanly fabricated natural space, and the precarious relationship between the ecological and the human. We are interested in what the fen is and how we relate to it. We were featured on a programme made by Cambridge TV School entitled "Behind The Brush" in 2018.

I was a student at Falmouth and Winchester Schools of Art, was selected for the Design Enterprise Programme at The Royal College of Art and was awarded an MA in Fine Art Printmaking at Cambridge School of Art in 2009. In 2012 I was awarded the Curwen Studio prize at the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers Summer Exhibition. My prints Goonhilly Downs and White Downs State III were selected for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions in 2015 and 2016 respectively. My print November Fen was selected for the National Original Print Exhibition at Bankside Gallery, London in 2018. I was awarded The Hawthorn Printmakers Award for "Most Interesting Use of Medium" for my work on show at the Cambridge Original Printmakers Biennale 2018.

I exhibit regularly at Cambridge Contemporary Art and other shows in the last year have included The Old Fire Engine House Ely, Fen Ditton Gallery Cambridge, Church Street Gallery Saffron Walden, Hayletts Gallery Maldon Essex, Craft Centre and Design Gallery Leeds and The Red Dot Mini Print Touring Exhibition. I have just been elected as a member of Artworks, an established, professional group of thirty contemporary East Anglian artists.

Unframed prices range from £55 to £700.