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Ghislaine Howard


We are delighted to have acquired three oil paintings by the British artist Ghislaine Howard which are illustrated in her book 'The Human Touch', they include two from her 365 series. Ghislaine was born in Eccles and studied Fine Art at Newcastle University. She lived in London and Paris before moving back to her native North-West with her husband, the art historian Michael Howard. She paints the entire range of human experience, the embrace of lovers, the joys and anxieties of parenthood, and the inevitable move towards the frailty of old age. She delights equally in the strength of human contact and the silent eloquence of the single figure, seen in movement or repose. All Ghislaine's paintings spring from her own experience, mediated by her love of art, past and present. They tell the common concerns of our shared journey through life transfigured by her intense engagement with her materials. She relishes the physicality and emotional power that comes about when line, form and colour collide, hence the title of her recent publication, written by Michael; Ghislaine Howard: the Human Touch. She first came to public attention with her ground-breaking exhibition concerning pregnancy and birth, the first of its kind, at Manchester City Art Gallery, A Shared Experience the exhibition attracted much critical acclaim. She has worked on commissioned projects with various diverse communities including cathedrals, theatres, prisons, the BBC, Women’s Refuges and as well as with major organisations such as Amnesty International. In 2008 she was named as a Woman of The Year for her contribution to art and society. From February to May 2013, Ghislaine’s drawing Pregnant Self Portrait July 1987 was at the centre of the British Museum’s ground breaking exhibition, Ice Age Art / Arrival of the Modern Mind, where it was placed alongside 30,000 year old sculptures of pregnant women, some of the earliest representations of the human form. She is continuing to work on a series of paintings in response to news images taken from the Guardian newspaper – an exhibition of 365 of these paintings was shown at Imperial War Museum North from March to September 2009. These are forming the basis of a major new series The Seven Acts of Mercy. Her work can be found in private and public collections including Manchester Art Gallery, Salford Art Gallery and The Royal Collection

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