Artists Iona Howard

Iona Howard’s work explores the concept of the sublime, the senses of home and alienation in a humanly fabricated natural space, and the precarious relationship between the ecological and the human. Her prints use figuration and abstraction to portray the landscape of places she knows well; the sources come from working en plein air or expressing landscape filtered through memory. The physicality of her approach to the printing process combined with a contemplative exploration of surface makes the subject spontaneous and vibrant whilst capturing an intimate connection with the landscape. 

Howard is captivated by the ancient semi-natural landscapes typical of her native west Cornwall where a blurred line exists between nature and human activity; the field boundaries of West Penwith are some of the world’s oldest artefacts still in use. 

Now living on the Fen Edge near Cambridge, the initial focus of her work is the meeting point of land, horizon and sky, their flatness altering the perception of distance. The big East Anglian sky is not the dominating feature here, instead the texture of the black soil is rendered in the foreground, reaching up to the unnaturally even furrows of an intensively farmed field or reed stubble picked out across the surface of a wetland with the thready detail of a tree and hedgerow. 

The printing process

Howard predominantly uses carborundum in her printing process, a technique where a mix of a binder and carborundum grit is applied onto the surface of a plate and inked up. It provides highly embossed, velvety textures and rich, dense tones. To contrast the carborundum, drypoint is added to produce an incised line, which is characteristically thin, linear and precise. Howard prints to the edge of the paper to leave the composition as unconstrained as the landscapes from which she seeks inspiration. 

I was born in The Lizard, Cornwall in 1964. I was awarded an MA in Fine Art Printmaking at Cambridge School of Art in 2009 and have previously studied at the Royal College of Art, Winchester School of Art and Falmouth School of Art. 

I have previously worked in interior design, made hand painted wall art which was exhibited worldwide, as well as lecturing in the arts. 

I now live near Cambridge where I make original prints in my studio and exhibit at a number of contemporary galleries across the UK. 

My fine art prints have been selected for shows including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, The international Original Print Exhibition, the Society of Women Artists and Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair.