'The Landcape is Memory' by Hornsea artist Adele Howitt is the latest exhibition to appear in the York College Gallery. Dividing her time between curatorial work and commissions, Adele works mainly in clay and her investigations include microscopic landscapes within pathology and pollen grains. These concepts extend to working within the public realm and architecture.
Says Adele: "I try to capture a moment of time remembered within a sculpture and have the object report to us. Time imprints the landscape with evidence of its passing, speaking to us through ephemeral tide lines, beaches and wave forms locked in geological strata, forming a unit or vessel for carrying information; cells of genetic inheritance. Memory, science, relevance of pattern and form found in landscape are concepts that I have been developing for a number of years in various three dimensional forms.”
The practice of collaborative working has enabled a new development of research into landscape and memory as ecology messages are underpinned in the creation of temporary installations where real planting takes an effective role. One example of this is the Seeds for the Desert ongoing art / ecology project. These interpretations of identity underpin collaborations with artists that have lead to new proposals for final public artworks within the community. Including the 2014 project Unpacking a Potted History (DARTS, ACE funded project, Right Up Our Street, Doncaster), which culminated in a psycho-geographic installation of printed plate shards and poetry interventions around Mexborough, South Yorkshire.
Graduating from Chelsea School of Art about 20 years ago, Adele joined with other ceramicists, and calling themselves ‘Edge’ they put on an exhibition on Cork Street, a place many artists aspire to exhibit. A more unlikely teamwork was to follow in Adele’s partnership with international slip-casting company Ideal Standard, innovating the potential of their firing and slip casting processes in a forensic project based upon DNA patterns and fingerprinting which produced an intriguing set of interactive works for Craven Park in Hull. An MA with Distinction in public art at the UCE ensued.
Scientific themes persist in Adele’s collaborations. Relationships between nature and well-being have been put to great effect in the Castle Hill HEY NHS Project (winner of 5 RIBA awards), where the outside creeps into the hospital environment putting people at ease alleviating the sterile environment of a hospital. Working with Beam a public art agency based in the north of England, Adele created large scale works for a minor surgeries unit in Barnsley, taking inspiration from their medieval environment of rowan forests and glades.
Adele has exhibited across Europe including, the prestigious Steninge Slott Cultural Centre in Sweden for the World Art in Clay exhibition, RHS Chelsea Flower Show London, VI Biennal de Ceràmica del Vendrell, Barcelona, Spain, and, Ceramica Multiplex at Kerameikon, Croatia.
Adele Howitt is co-owner of the craft workshop and gallery called Studio Eleven where she is based in the historic fruit market, Kingston upon Hull’s new cultural quarter.