published by Manchester Metropolitan University in association with Art Decor Gallery
The 365 Paintings
Every day Ghislaine Howard paints one small 6 x 8 inch panel from the news media. She began these in response to being on London on the day of the 7/7 bombings in 2005 and groups of these have been exhibited in various galleries and museums including Imperial War Museum North and Manchester Art Gallery. The works have formed the basis of a major new direction in he work that focuses upon the idea of mercy. She is continuing to produce her daily paintings, but now directs her attention towards imagery that references the presence or absence of mercy in the contemporary world. The works are untitled - referenced only by a date on the reverse.
Ghislaine Howard is a painter of national reputation who was named as a Woman of the Year 2008 for her contribution to art and society. Her paintings and drawings chart and interpret shared human experience. Her 1993 exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery, ‘A Shared Experience’, has been recognised as a milestone in the representation of women’s lives.
As a very small child, Ghislaine was shown a reproduction of a Van Gogh drawing by her father, depicting an old man sitting by the fire, his head in his hands. She remembers being so moved by the drawing that it made her weep. Her father told her that Van Gogh was an artist who painted feelings and she decided there and then that that was what she wanted her own drawings to be about.
Ghislaine was born and raised in Salford, and studied Fine Art at Newcastle University. She has exhibited widely and has work in many public and private collections, including the Royal Collection, the Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery. She has held solo exhibitions at many prestigious venues including Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth, Imperial War Museum North, Galerie Horizons, Brussels, York Minster and many of England’s cathedrals such as Canterbury, Liverpool and Gloucester. In 2013, she was the only living artist to be represented in The British Museum’s ground-breaking exhibition ‘Ice Age Art: Arrival of the Modern Mind’ where her work hung in the company of Picasso, Matisse and Henry Moore. Her drawing ‘Pregnant Self-Portrait’ formed the centrepiece in a gallery dedicated to the first representations of the human body – some over 30,000 years old. In 2014 she exhibited over 200 small painted panels taken from her ‘365 Series’ in the Dutch Room at Manchester Art Gallery. This event was part of ‘PassionArt’ for which Ghislaine painted a major 8’ x 6’ work of The Return of the Prodigal Son which was exhibited with other of her works at Saint Ann’s church, Manchester. Ghislaine is known for her ability to fuse feeling and emotion into her painting, to create works that speak of the need for empathy and understanding.
She is currently working on a project entitled ‘Seven Acts’ which will involve the production of seven major paintings depicting each of the seven acts of mercy. Her knowledge and admiration for the great artists of the past such as Giotto, Rembrandt and Degas, led to her being commissioned to re-create a number of drawings and paintings by the French Impressionist, Edgar Degas for an award-winning film entitled ‘Degas and the Dance’. As well as large scale works such as a 25 foot high altarpiece for Liverpool Hope University, she also produces small scale paintings of the landscape she knows so well, her travels, and her own domestic and personal life.