Penny Howard is Ngapuhi, sub-tribe Mahurehure, canoe Ngataki-Matawhaorua and ancestor Rahiri. Also of Irish and Scottish Descent.
“Penny places images on metaphoric silhouettes. Folds within the “Va” (the spaces between us all) to launch from. Recreating the emotive forces of memory & reality; metaphor & motion, where dream and reality merge; where strands connect the future to the past, in the stories told by our ancestors.” - Doug Poole.
My work has some recurrent themes and imagery. Maori ornamentation, the use of shells, feathers, bird skeletons, bone and teeth, juxtaposed with colonist ornamentation, lockets, lace, gold, pearls.
Maori bird lore has a strong presence within my works through the use of many native species. The juxtaposition of birds into play a context of colonisation and strongly the effect not only of European but Maori occupation and subsequent use of the land.
The red thread through my work represents I na wa o mua (the Maori world view to look in front of us to the past for guidance), this also encompasses the pacific concept of Va (the space between all things). It is about bloodlines and the finding of them within ourselves.
The lace pattern through my work has a few layered meanings. Firstly it is a link to my maternal grandmother. A metaphor for colonisation, a new marking on the land. I see it as Hinewai’s mist, something to hide in, to transcend through, something that holds loss, grief and longing within it.
Penny's work is held in Private and Public collections (including the Auckland University).
PENNY HOWARD IS REPRESENTED BY WHITESPACE GALLERY
Examples of Penny's Work: (click on images below to view larger image)