Leonora Howlett

L e o n o r a   H o w l e t t

Undercurrents No.2

As with most painters, after formal art training was completed, travel and experiences of other cultures and contexts extended my awareness of the visual world and the place of the arts within it. Experience of other art forms and cultural contexts illuminated and reinforced my already established interest in the abstract and non-representational arts, which I had been exploring since my first exhibition in 1962 at the Barry Stern Gallery and which is still for me a limitless form of expression. With whatever medium I am using, my enduring concern has been to create a visual language of colour and form which explores the rich and the non-verbal awareness of our life and travels in this world.

Leonora Howlett was awarded a scholarship to the National Art School where she studied under Peter Laverty, John Passmore, Godfrey Miller and John Olsen, graduating in 1960. During the 1960s, she lived in London, travelling to Europe and the Middle East, where her encounter with Islamic art made an overwhelming impression. In 1975, she undertook further travels to Mexico (for the International Women’s Year Conference, designing a commemorative stamp for Australia), and India. During the 1980s, she studied stained glass technique with visiting German glass masters, Klos and Haufschild. She worked as a traditional stained glass painter and designer in partnership with George von Martini, craftsman, while continuing her work as an abstract painter with a major interest in colour.

Howlett’s glass commissions include Rookwood Cemetery, St. Francis Church, Paddington, and St. Andrews, Balmain. In 2012, she was appointed artist-in-residence at the Sydney Heritage Dock.

She has held 13 solo painting exhibitions in Australia and participated in numerous group exhibitions in regional galleries in Australia, as well as internationally, including Hungary, Washington D.C., India, Korea, Taiwan, Moscow and the Mexico (including the 2016 Mexico City Watercolour Biennale). Among her most recent solo shows was a 50-year survey exhibition of her work at Penrith Regional Gallery and Lewers Bequest in 2018.

Howlett is represented in the collections of Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne; Penrith Museum; Art Bank; St. George Bank; the National Archives, Canberra; Stanthorpe Regional Gallery; the John Passmore Museum, Sydney; the National Art School, Sydney; the Royal New South Wales Canine Council and many private collections.

A member of the Australian Watercolour Institute since 2001, she is also a member of the Australian Society of Marine Artists and the Australian Society of Miniature Art.