Cheltenham-based artist and University of Gloucestershire alumni Emma Howell creates paintings that explore and reveal new methods of observation and perception. Following the death of her father in 2016, Emma separated herself from a world she deemed bleak and taxing, resulting in a misconstrued view of reality. Her desperate need to heal encouraged her to regrow and nurture a new relationship with nature and society. And by looking, listening, feeling and painting, her first solo show, Homegrown, materialised, unfolding 18 months of her healing.
» Opening Evening | Friday 3rd August 2018 from 7pm until 10pm
» On View | 4th – 17th August, 2018 from 10am until 4pm or by appointment
» Location | Aroundabout Sound, 448 High Street, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 3JA, +44 1242 578383
The 30 colourful paintings in the exhibition are there to take you on your own visual adventure and to introduce you to a new perspective. An energetic, coiled mark could be a brisk wind or a complex conversation. A block of colour is to grab your attention, stimulate mood or to contextualise a location – perhaps the sea, land or sky. Repetitive lines act as a meditative exercise, feelings of monotony or the structure of an environment – like the flow of a river, a row of hedges or the curve of a cliff face. By viewing the work, Emma is taking you where she’s been and showing you how she sees it, feels it and hears it.
The work hangs in a sentimental place; a space that still holds remnants of her father’s talents, and hard work – above Aroundabout Sound, the music shop that he founded in 1985. The bright
and airy gallery space upstairs is juxtaposed with the weathered appearance of the building’s exterior and the dark, grungy interior that holds nostalgia of the 90’s.
Emma welcomes you into her studio and newly renovated gallery space, accompanied by the music that fueled her creativity and maintained her healing process. Having a musician for a father meant that music has played a significant role in her upbringing – and after his death, she found listening to any kind impossible. Therefore, the music you hear in Homegrown has a monumental significance – as these were the songs that she relearnt to listen to and gradually incorporate back into her everyday, consequently influencing her new work.
When someone close to you dies, your perception of reality alters; life becomes a hallucination of everything you were terrified of as a child, and all you want to do is escape.
Homegrown reveals the shift in my perception of the world.
Eighteen months of grief have forced me to rebuild a relationship with life and everything it has to offer: weather, colour, sound, conversation, adventure and opportunity.
A quick corkscrewed mark could be a sharp and chilling breeze or a sudden rush of enthusiasm. A block of colour is to grab your attention, evoke mood or to contextualise a location – perhaps land, sea or sky. Repetitive lines act as a meditative process, feelings of monotony or the structure of a setting – like the flow of a river, rows of shrubbery or the contours of rock.