I am Phillip HOWe, a Melbourne-based multidisciplinary artist with a rich blended heritage of Irish, Scottish, and Aboriginal origins. My ancestral connection lies with the Gooreng Gooreng people, the traditional Aboriginal inhabitants of the Bundaberg-Burnett River country. As a proud member of the Barrbunin Beek Gathering Centre, my artistic practice revolves around exploring themes of identity, place, reconnection, and a deep understanding of and connection to the land.
Central to my work is a passionate commitment to protecting indigenous wildlife and their habitats. I draw inspiration from the unique landscapes, diverse creatures, and rich cultural traditions that surround me. Through my art, I aim to inspire and educate communities, fostering a sense of connection to the land, promoting diversity, and encouraging sustainable practices.
My creative journey incorporates a wide range of artistic disciplines, including painting, printmaking, digital works, and sculpture. By employing this diverse range of mediums, I dive into the intricacies of identity and place, seeking to unravel their complexities and share my personal narrative. Through my artwork, I strive to create spaces for dialogue and reflection, inviting others to explore their own connections with the world around them.
The breadth of my contemporary artwork is vast, ranging from large-scale commissioned public sculptures and captivating street murals to intricate drawings, paintings, digital creations, and expressive printmaking. Guided by an unwavering passion for the protection of indigenous wildlife and their habitats, I find inspiration in the distinctive local landscapes, diverse creatures, and vibrant cultural heritage that encompass me.
My artistic style is characterised by rhythmic lines, sculptural shapes, abstract patterns, and a vibrant array of hues. Among the motifs I create, the Wild Dog holds significant importance as it represents my personal spirit and totem, symbolising the inherent diversity present in nature.
Ultimately, my goal is to inspire and educate communities, nurturing a deeper connection to Country and encouraging a celebration of diversity and sustainability. Through my art, I seek to ignite curiosity and appreciation for the intricate tapestry of cultures and natural wonders that exist within our world. By recognising and honouring our interdependence with the land and its inhabitants, we can work collectively toward a more inclusive and sustainable future.
In essence, my art is a testament to my own journey of self-discovery—a visual exploration of the profound connections I have with my heritage and the sense of belonging that arises from reconnecting with my ancestral country. It is my sincere hope that through my work, I can inspire others to embark on their own journeys of introspection, fostering a deeper understanding and respect for the diverse cultures and environments that coexist within our shared world.
HOWe Wild Dog Studio is located on Wurundjeri-willam country and can be accessed by appointment or during the Banyule Open Studios event, scheduled for October 2023 (details will be posted closer to the event).
Visiting the studio is an artistic journey in itself, as you wander past hand-made iron gates, giant boulders, a dry creek bed, carved timbers, wharf posts, river stone mosaics, and indigenous fauna and flora, as well resident chickens and bees.
Reflecting my commitment to sustainability, my works feature locally sourced, recycled, and repurposed materials. The studio, originally built in the early 1960s, is a rustic ongoing creation, housing my vibrant paintings, small sculptures, and illustrated works. Situated in close proximity to the world-famous Heidelberg School, Heidi, Montsalvat artist colonies, and the Birrarung River, HOWe Melbourne studio is immersed in a vibrant artistic environment.
In closing, I invite you to embrace life and remember the importance of our Earth—its preservation and the harmonious coexistence of all its inhabitants.
“I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint.”Frida Kahlo
We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we create, honour and respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders both past, present and emerging.
©HOWe All rights reserved 2023