Ghislaine Howard

Ghislaine Howard:


Details of Ghislaine and Michael Howard's creative residential weekend courses for 2010 are available here.

Ghislaine Howard, ‘The Circus Animals’ Desertion.

An exhibition of paintings, drawings and prints

13th - 20th August, Estate Office, Birr, County Ofally, Ireland

‘I sought a theme and sought for it in vain, I sought it daily for six weeks or so.’

In her imagination, Ghislaine Howard equates her Irish home, the Old Distillery in Birr, with Thoor Baylee, W. B. Yeats’ famous tower, inspiration for so many of his poem.

This suite of monotypes and related works are inspired by Yeats’ late poem, ‘The Circus Animals’ Desertion’ which centres on the mysterious nature of artistic creation.Her exhibition explores the ‘rag and bone shop of the heart’: the people, memories, ambitions, images and objects that make up an artist’s vocabulary. Ghislaine interweaves images suggested by the poem with references to her own life and work. She also pays homage to Picasso’s Vollard Suite, etchings that the Spanish master produced just a few years before Yeats’ re-assessment of his poetic self

Recently named as a ‘Woman of the Year’ in the U.K., Ghislaine is an artist known for powerful and expressive paintings that record and interpret shared human ex-perience. She exhibits widely in the UK and Europe and has work in many public and private collections, including the Royal Collection. This will be her first exhibition in Ireland.

You are invited to the official opening of the exhibition which will take place at 6.30pm on Friday 13 August at the Estate office, Rosse Row, Birr, County Offaly, Ireland.

Ghislaine's acclaimed series of paintings, The Stations of the Cross: The Captive Figure will continue its tour of British cathedrals with an exhibition at Manchester Cathedral from Wednesday, February 17 through to May 2010.

The exhibition will form the backdrop for a performance of Bach's St John Passion by Manchester Cathedral Choir with Manchester Baroque Orchestra on Sunday, March 21 at 7.30pm.

Ghislaine will give a talk about the evolution of the paintings on Thursday, May 13 at 7.30pm. Free.

The Art of Walking

Ghislaine is working with The Lowry, Salford University and Arts for Health towards an exhibition for 2012 which will celebrate walking.


Ghislaine's 365 series, a sequence of daily paintings relating to news media images, was shown at Imperial War Museum North in Trafford [M17 1TZ] from March until September 2009 and may be seen on her blog.

Imperial War Museum North's press release.

Michael Howard contributed an online catalogue.

Salford Online has a video interview here.

Sarah Walters
has a feature in City Life.

Ghislaine was interviewed about the exhibition by Channel M television and by Allan Beswick on BBC Radio Manchester.

Exeter CathedralThe Stations of the Cross / The Captive Figure was shown at Exeter Cathedral from February to May 2009.

Michael Howard's latest publication, a new book on Vincent Van Gogh, was published by Lorenz Books on June 1, 2009.

If you would like further details please email or telephone 01457 852368.
Van Gogh


Ghislaine HowardGhislaine was named as a Woman of the Year and attended the Women of the Year lunch at The Guildhall in London in October.

Ghislaine also starred in a short film for children, So You Want to be an Artist?, which was shown at The Lowry.

Drawing can be just child's play - Glossop Advertiser

The Stations of The Cross: The Captive Figure
at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

The Empty Tomb in Liverpool Cathedral
Featuring the unveiling of The Empty Tomb, a new work for Liverpool Anglican Cathedral's Capital of Culture celebrations.

The Stations was on view from February 11 to March 30, 2008.
The Empty Tomb played a central role in the Cathedral's Easter celebrations.

The Empty Tobmb
The Empty Tomb

Ghislaine Howard spent a number of early mornings walking the city streets of Liverpool sketching and photographing the spaces vacated by rough sleepers. These empty doorways, tousled blankets, and damp cardboard boxes the only evidence that someone had found shelter there. Her purpose was to situate her painting of The Empty Tomb in the reality of the lived experience and to bring to this spiritual subject a simple human dimension. The resulting painting, 4 x 8 feet, is set within a spectacular steel reliquary created by sculptor Brian Fell and is the culminating piece of her series Stations of the Cross: the Captive Figure.

The series has toured various British cathedrals to great acclaim. When it was shown at Gloucester Cathedral, Her Majesty the Queen was presented with
a study for The Women of Jerusalem for the Royal Collection.

It is fitting that this powerful and thought-provoking exhibition should follow the Cathedral's recent Anne Frank exhibition for they speak of the disappeared, the dispossessed and the homeless, those undergoing unfair
captivity and worse - above all they speak of the strength of the human spirit to transcend oppression.

These significant and powerful works open up opportunities to highlight and explore the issue of torture and the plight of victims of oppression all over the world. And as one of many visitors seeing the paintings wrote in response to the works: "It hurt my heart. I pray that we learn from this suffering."

Dan Jones, Head of Education for Amnesty International:

"Ghislaine Howard's images are compelling, powerful, and emphatic. They are unusual in that they communicate man's inhumanity to man to the art lover and lay person alike. These are very important paintings that transcend the limitations of the gallery space to speak to us all."

Dr Helen Bamber, (former director of the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture):

"Ghislaine Howard's Stations have a passionate roughness that calls out to the viewer the meaning of Christ's suffering. They seem sublimely right for the pain and confusion of Christ's Passion."

Sister Wendy Beckett:
"Howard is well on her way to becoming one of the great humanist artists of our time."

Death's Broken Dominion (PDF) - Laura Gascoigne on The Empty Tomb
(The Tablet, March 22, 2008)

The Tablet

The Stations have been featured a number of times on television, most recently in BBC1 documentary, Who Do You Say I Am?, and were the setting for a major new production of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies's Vesalii Icones, to celebrate his seventieth birthday.


Ghislaine has been involved in a number of exciting projects over this past year. As well as her regular showings at the Cynthia Corbett Gallery, she has also been involved with the
seventieth birthday celebrations of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies - the Queen's Composer. To celebrate this occasion a number of concerts were staged around the country including a two week festival of his music at the Royal Festival Hall.

Ghislaine worked with the extraordinarily gifted dancer Michael Rolnick, the avant-garde musical ensemble 
Psappha and the ENO director and choreographer Elaine Tyler Hall to create a new interpretation of the composer's 1969 dance piece, Vesalii Icones. The dance routine was inspired by Ghislaine's work and features the dancer who, to the music of a single cello, responds to Ghislaine's works which are projected above him. Future collaborations are in the pipeline.

She has been commissioned by the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral to produce a large altarpiece, The Empty Tomb. Ghislaine has been inspired by the remnants of sleeping bags and blankets that she had seen in empty shop doorways around our large cities. It promises to be a major work that, as is the artist's major concern, speaks at once to a religious and secular audience.

Together with a piece by Tracey Emin, Ghislaine's work will be one of the major highlights of the Cathedral's European Capital of Culture 2008 celebrations.

She was also honoured by being the first contemporary artist to be commissioned to produce The Washing of the Feet, a new work for the Methodist Art Collection. The collection, based at Oxford Brookes University, is currently touring Britain.

The Washing of the Feet
The Washing of the Feet

Although Ghislaine is noted for her large powerful, evocative figure paintings, much of her work is founded upon a close scrutiny of her immediate scene, often developing form small intimate sketches and studies of herself and her family. Recently she has begun a series of paintings inspired by clothes that are imbued with memories, happy and sad - clothes that appear to have their own identities, their own stories to tell.

Following a recent commission Ghislaine has been inspired to produce a series of intimate contemplation pieces. These are either religious or secular in subject matter but have the same purpose - to give to the viewer a sense of calm, of meditative space. Some of these are small, jewel-like panels that can be slipped into a handbag or piece of luggage and can be carried around from place to place, to immediately humanise any interior and to give a sense of stillness and purpose amongst the bustle of contemporary life.

In October 2004, 
The Cynthia Corbett Gallery collaborated with the Sheridan Russell Gallery in Marylebone, which has led to a reawakening of critical interest in relation to Ghislaine's work concerning pregnancy and birth. Her paintings will be the focus of a chapter in a forthcoming publication on the subject of art in hospitals. 
Ghislaine Howard Studio Gallery

Ghislaine's blog   


365 daily images

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Ghislaine Howard Studio Gallery



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