I am a North Cornwall artist explorer, practicing walking, drawing and printmaking. I am interested in the patterns that connect our minds with natural places.
My project work seeks to develop a relationship with place through participatory practice and collaboration. Drawing and walking naturally slows down our perceptions cultivating empathy with place over time. My art practice is quietly attentive to rhythms and natural cycles of decay and renewal, the edges of a day. I devise rituals of attention for my visits; ancient Sweet Chestnut trees are redrawn, remembered, and revisited; hidden papers are folded in tree hollows, stained with spores; a moment of arrival is recorded in a smudged rained on watercolour; where the familiar becomes unfamiliar and a world is revealed in the microcosm of a pocket of lichen.
Printmaking is the distillation process; skeleton leaves form inscriptions of place on paper; veils of ghost printed ink suggest the shifting atmosphere of memory in indigo and ochre; etched lines trace a path of thought, of ink, of noticing. These drawings and prints are both prayer and experiment. The work explores cycles, hinting at a deeper sense of ecological collapse, and a longing for hope, seeing nature as talisman, balm and messenger.
Karen Howse has an MA in Fine Art from Falmouth University, and a BA in Textiles from Winchester. Karen is presently Artist in Residence for the National Trust at Dunsland (N. Devon) where she is walking and drawing, creating a dialogue with place. In Spring 2021 she will be launching The People's Herbarium, a Bright Sparks project, funded by FEAST and Cornwall Museums Partnership.
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