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Ian Howard

Andrew Frost

Ian Howard is a multimedia artist, curator and educator. Howard's work has been concerned with the status of visual communication in society, with an emphasis on the visual traditions of the military, from its role in a tradition of landscape painting to its symbolic representations in flags, coats of arms and flashes. Ostensibly located within a drawing practice, Howard's work has questioned the position of the art object as a residual process in an act of translation, attempting to blur the boundaries between a work of art and a real world object. To achieve this Howard embarked on a series of rubbings of objects including Hadrian's Wall, tanks, aircraft — including the Enola Gay — and a nuclear warhead, which were exhibited in a gallery as a 'drawing'. 

Howard trained as an artist and art educator in Sydney, gaining a Diploma of Art Education from Alexander Mackie CAE in 1968. He studied film and television production at Middlesex Polytechnic (previously Hornsey College of Art), London, where he gained a Graduate Diploma of Advanced Studies in Film and Television in 1976. After further study at Concordia University, Montreal, he was awarded a Master of Fine Arts in 1976. Howard's extensive exhibition career began in the mid 1960s with work in a variety of group shows including the Young Contemporaries exhibitions staged by the Contemporary Art Society, Sydney, between 1966 and 1969. His first solo show, New Society Paintings, was mounted at the Canberra Civic Centre Gallery in 1967.

Many of Howard's gallery projects have included video and film components, as well as video projects including Endgame (1998) and Moving House (2007). His major video work, North Korea — War With Flowers, was staged at Watters Gallery, Sydney, in 2009. The show included video documentation shown on a tower of 6 monitors to replicate monitor banks in a spy ship, the Pueblo. The videos also included footage from PR DVDs from Pyongyang, that included scenes of military parades and idyllic life in the socialist DPRK. Working as an excutive producer, Howard has overseen numerous film and video projects for television including Art of Place (1996, SBS & Australian Television International), International Drawing Research Institute (2002, CCTV), and Australians In Venice 2009 (2009, COFA).

b. 1947
Birth place
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Period of activity 
from 1968