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Contemporary Art Practice (MA)

Charlie Howard

Charlie Howard [b. 1997] is an interdisciplinary artist based in London, originally from Stockton-on-Tees. Underpinned by a fascination with the relationships we maintain with synthetic objects, Howard’s work speculates on the imagined psyche of cars.

MA Contemporary Art Practice (Critical Practice), Royal College of Art, 2023

BA (Hons) Fine Art, Leeds Arts University, 2019

Charlie Howard and stan (dog)

Charlie Howard engages with a process of writing and research that arrives at a physical conclusion, reimagining the object’s potential to be hostile, content or concerned. A reconsideration of the synthetic, discarded object is central to his work. 

Recently, Howard has worked specifically with cars, speculating on them as extensions of our own bodies, psychological spaces and entities that exist in between. 

The industrial backdrop of his upbringing in Teesside has fostered an interest in tangible, palpable objects and materials. The area surrounding the River Tees is peppered with the carcasses of secondary industry. An industry that is in decline, neglected by its government. This death of inanimate physical spaces has influenced Howard’s work.

two disused car headlights, one is a live moss terrarium, the other is placed on a bed of dry, dead moss.
𝘞𝘐𝘛𝘏𝘖𝘜𝘛 𝘠𝘖𝘜 𝘐 𝘈𝘔 𝘚𝘛𝘐𝘓𝘓 2023Two damaged headlights sit adjacent to one another, one is a live moss terrarium, the inside sealed off to its surroundings and the live moss thriving in its self contained atmosphere. The other sat atop of a shadow of dead moss that has been coloured a greener green than the living moss. 𝘞𝘐𝘛𝘏𝘖𝘜𝘛 𝘠𝘖𝘜 𝘐 𝘈𝘔 𝘚𝘛𝘐𝘓𝘓 functions as a response to the Freudian idea of the death drive. The idea that deep in our subconscious, we have a desire to return to a state of being inorganic.
Two pieces of foam are displayed on a wall, one spells the word 'exoskeleton' in metal lettering and ink, the other 'lustreless'
𝘒𝘕𝘐𝘎𝘏𝘛 𝘐𝘕 𝘌𝘟𝘖𝘚𝘒𝘌𝘓𝘌𝘛𝘖𝘕, 𝘓𝘜𝘚𝘛𝘙𝘌𝘓𝘌𝘚𝘚 𝘈𝘙𝘔𝘖𝘜𝘙 𝘚𝘜𝘐𝘛 2023Shiny, steel replacement lettering originally intended to be attached to the rear of a car is fixed to a discarded off cut of upholstery foam. The metal lettering is interlaced with crudely handwritten characters to spell out the word EXOSKELETON. This work is a play on the one-word language used to market cars. It is an ongoing series that leans into the shiny, showroom aesthetic and takes a literal approach to comment on the throw-away nature of manufacturing.
𝘖𝘕𝘌 𝘔𝘐𝘓𝘓𝘐𝘖𝘕 𝘚𝘏𝘈𝘙𝘋𝘚 𝘖𝘍 𝘚𝘈𝘍𝘌𝘛𝘠 𝘎𝘓𝘈𝘚𝘚 2023This film examines inevitability, experienced through the lens of a personified familiar object. The glossy, sleek showroom is cut against the greasy crunching violence of the scrapyard, meanwhile a glitching voice speaks a monologue from the car’s perspective.