Working in North Cornwall, I am an artist explorer practicing walking, drawing and printmaking. I am interested in noticing the patterns that connect our minds with our local wild. Drawing and walking naturally slow down our perceptions, cultivating empathy.
My art practice seeks to develop a relationship with place through a process of collaboration. The drawing is quietly attentive to natural rhythms of decay and renewal. I practice acts of attention; 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 indigo and ochre ink suggest the shifting atmosphere of memory; etched charcoal lines trace a path of thought, of ink, of noticing.
The 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 has been artist in residence at a paper factory and a poet’s home. She is presently guest artist for the National Trust at Dunsland (N. Devon) where she is using walking and drawing to create dialogue with place. In Spring 2021 she will be launching The People’s Herbarium, a Bright Sparks project, engaging people with place, printmaking and plants funded by FEAST and Cornwall Museums Partnership.