Penny Howard's artworks are an expression of the artist's narratives of finding ones cultural identity. Penny is of Maori (Te Mahurehure) Irish and Scottish desecnt. An exchange of dialogue takes place between Penny's sculptured wood silhouettes as they explore memories of whanau, whakapapa and ancestral stories against the backdrop of colonization and the Pacific Diasporas. The red thread in Penny’s work represents I Nga Wa O Mua, the Maori world view to take the past with us into the future for guidance.
Penny is represented by Whitespace Contemporary Art and her work features in many important collections in NZ, including The Wallace Arts Trust, Auckland City Council, Auckland Events Centre, Auckland University and ASB Community Trust. Penny has been a finalist in the the Wallace Trust Art Award, the Adam Portraiture Award and the Walker and Hall Art Award.
Note about cover art, “Four Steps to Standing on a Horse”.
This work was the signature image and title for Penny's latest solo show held a Whitespace Contemporary Art in December 2014. The show was a collaboration between herself as Painter and her partner (both creatively and in life!) Poet Doug Poole. The work for the show was about memory and identity and focussed on both of the artists Grandmothers/Great Grandmothers, who come from combined backgrounds of Maori, Samoan, Irish, Scottish and English heritage. The work centered around the idea of their female ancestors as Wahine Toa, warrior woman and all of the qualities that these woman held and passed on through our families. “From feeding, loving, teaching , bravely keeping home fires burning, being the orators of family stories and history, preseving fruit, or releasing Tapu men from the ravages of war, these works honour our important and so often overlooked women and their sacrafices to make us the artists and storytellers that we are today.” Penny Howard 2014