Q + A: Garth Howells


What is your work about?

My paintings explore memories and feelings about life and experiences. I embed within my work universal feelings such as being hopelessly lost and not knowing if you can make it through the day. Or when your love of friends and family in a moment of time is pure ecstasy.

How do you start a work? 

I need an idea. I can’t work without one. An artwork without concept can come across as empty. So my ideas mostly come from life and day-to-day banalities. I take a lot of snapshots on my phone, which become a great archive for inspiration. I seek to create the experience of an unfolding, intensified and extended moment within a painting, equivalent to some of the heightened recollections we might experience through emotions associated with memory.

What have you been working on recently?

I’ve been exploring new ideas of landscape and working towards the Pilotenkeuche Residency in Leipzig, Germany. I was meant to start the residency in July this year but due to COVID-19, it has been postponed.

Landscapes are a new venture for me. My work Google It is the first of a new series exploring the identity and ownership of the Australian landscape.

What themes are evident in your practice?

Although many of my paintings differ in their aesthetic outcome, they’re all part of a broader theme of memory and experience. Depicting the banalities of domesticity and random locations, their lack of detail highlights the transience of daily life.

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