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Iona Howard

Iona’s prints use figuration and abstraction to portray the landscape of places she knows well. The sources can 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.

She has lived on the Fen Edge near Cambridge for the last twenty years and the focus of her work is the meeting point of land, horizon and sky, their flatness altering the perception of distance. Her prints have gradually evolved from monochromatic studies by introducing colour to reflect the Fens’ ever-changing mood and light.

Iona 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. Colour is introduced by layering carborundum plates or though monoprint. Printing to the edge of the paper leaves the composition as unconstrained as the landscapes from which she finds inspiration.