In his Moving Light series, light is given corporeal agency and features of a landscape such as trees are subjected to its force, appearing as though they have been stirred and bent by a strong wind. The light chooses its subject and bends its will effortlessly, just as the artist does. The surrounding landscape remains still and waiting. This poetic dichotomy of movement and stillness presses on a sense of captured growth and time, further emphasizing metaphoric abstraction.
In other works, such as his Colourfield paintings, Howard observes and then instinctively extracts colours of the landscape and reorganises the varying hues into orderly fragments, often taking linear and geometric form. This action – the reduction and organisation of colour and form, offers both an abstract and minimalist view of the natural environment, laying bare the complexity of our visual relationship with the physical world.
Howard has been exhibiting in solo and group exhibitions in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland since 1978.
Parnell Gallery has represented Stephen Howard since August 2009.