Reflexion – Ownership of the Self(ie)

Recent work by Sandra Howlett

Date: Jun 25 – Jul 8Space: Small Gallery

Sandra Howlett’s artworks are an investigation of mixed media – a sense of the ‘ready-made’ intertwined with a painterly approach. The works sit between painting and a 3 dimensional process. She aims to explore the parameters around media use and its ability to move beyond conventional usage.

‘What seems clear is that projects like these harness the power of art, including its tendency toward metaphor and verbal/visual play, its resistance to received ideas and its willingness to colonize new areas of knowledge, to persuade us to think differently about our relationship to the environment. They suggest that with a more proactive approach to environmental concerns, the posthuman era need not signal the end of human life as we know it. Instead, the Anthropocene might provide a new beginning for all the partners in the health of the planet.’ (Hartney. E, 2014)

Sandra’s work explores the narrative of the physical, digital, and social landscape, the effect of human presence and the changing epoch. As humans we are fooled into believing more is better, that the gatherer in us has turned into a hoarder of non-disposable matter. Do we acknowledge this, do we take ownership of it, can we see ourselves reflected in this change of epoch into the Anthropocene? There is an order and chaos within all the works – a juxtaposition of materials to create both at the same time. A reflection of the disorder and harmony the world at hand at present – environmentally, digitally, and socially.

Sandra’s work has an overwhelming sense of both physical and social contagion. Borne from technology advances that are hugely beneficial to the world, yet at the same time plays on humans’ greed, consumption, and ability to ignore the detrimental elements of these physical and digital products.

Humans’ relationship with the world is not simply a duality of nature vs human. It inextricably links technologies to this construct and the overriding impact of the changes in and on the Earth. The advent of social media and the materiality of the digital has now played an enormous role on humans’ impact on the world.

Sandra is currently the Head of Arts at Sacred Heart College Napier and has been teaching Visual Art in the secondary setting for 27 years. Last year she was fortunate to receive a scholarship to attend EIT and finish her Bachelor of Creative Practice. The work on display is the journey of 2020 and beyond.



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