b. 1989, Ireland
Our understanding of materials is mediated by the object or product they have been made into; aluminium is associated with cans, cars and wire; our understanding of glass is mediated through our familiarity with glass windows or bottles. In a similar way gold is associated with its adaptability for jewellery making. This understanding comes to us from a narrow context which shapes the form and function of the material. By removing these elements from this common context and examining them through a sculptural and pseudoscientific methodology, other facets of a substance’s inherent materiality can be revealed.
Using basic elemental materials such as aluminium, gold, silver, iron, lead, glass and concrete, Howie tries to create situations where those materials are manipulated to a point where they become performative and where our understanding of these everyday substances is examined. This manipulation focuses the work on a critical point, the point when one thing becomes another, the point/ moment when a substance changes state. Placing a sheet of glass under tension, into a curve, creates two opposing forces giving the piece a performative element, its precarious nature rooting the piece in the present, at a point in time. Glass is characterised as being a cold, hard, brittle material. The use of plate glass as a sculptural material here allows it to be seen as strong, flexible, elastic, almost liquid.
Greg Howie is a graduate of the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and a founding member of BASIC SPACE, Dublin.
(Text: EVA 2012, After the Future catalogue)Back to Artists