School of the Arts, English and Media

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Robert Howe

Robert Howe awarded UOW-AAIA Artist in Residence, Athens 2017

Congratulations to UOW Alumnus Robert (Rob) Howe, the 2017 recipient of the University of Wollongong (UOW) and Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens (AAIA), Artist in Residence award. The Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens (AAIA) is a research centre of the University of Sydney and is recognised by the Greek Government as the official Australian national institution for archaeological research in Greece.

An established artist, Rob, who completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts in 2000 and a Master of Creative Arts (Research) in 2013 in which he focussed on the revolutionary nature of American realist painters of the 1950s, sees his proposal for Athens as a natural development from previous creative inquiries. He is particularly interested to explore the emergence and development of modern Greek painting, from the time of the Greek impressionists onward. As he says:

What is of particular interest to me about the Greek realists of the 20th century is that they too were revolutionary… I want to see how the modernists who chose to paint what was in front of them (rather than any idealised form) approached their practice, given the weight of classical history that surrounded them and their isolation from the Renaissance and the artistic movements that followed in Western Europe due to four centuries of Ottoman rule … Artists of this generation are part of the famous ‘Techni Group’ associated with the birth of modernism in Greece, and … used to promote the intellectual forces of the modern country.

In Athens, I intend go about making drawings and paintings in my usual manner; observationally based, looking at things I find, things that perhaps one would not normally want to make pictures about. I’ll concern myself mainly with the relationship of lines and marks (in the case of drawing), or the relationship of colours and shapes (in the case of painting). In this instance, of course, I’ll be immersing myself in an unfamiliar environment, a total contrast to my home town not only with regards to colour and light but also in its setting, one that is both modern and ancient. I’m excited to have the opportunity to test my range I look forward to seeing the results!

Rob will spend a month in residence at the AAIA Hostel in Athens, and also receives a $1,500 contribution towards his travel. As an outcome of his residency in Athens, he proposes to undertake a body of work based on an uninterrupted study of everyday life and living conditions in the city, evolving out of his recent work depicting the people, gardens and architecture of the quiet suburban streets of his local area.

Professor Sarah Miller, Head: School of the Arts, English and Media said of the award:

We are delighted that Rob Howe has accepted our invitation to take up this residency. The selection committee was unanimous in supporting Rob’s application in what was a highly competitive field of applicants, and know that he will have a productive and enriching experience in Athens.

The Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts, wish to gratefully acknowledge the generous support of Emeritus Professor Diana Wood Conroy who made this Artist in Residence opportunity possible, and the University of Sydney, and the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens.