Ian Howorth is a photographer currently based in Brighton, UK. Having lived in various places as a child, Ian’s work looks to unlock a sense of nostalgia from his youth when he used to visit the UK with his father. Ian Howorth’s eye is magnetised positively by the sometimes kitsch originality of the UK’s sea side towns and beyond.
“I pursue what is close to me – the things that are always there every day yet somehow ignored and not scrutinised. Exploring England through its changing colour palettes, buildings, structures and signage, I attempt to go back to a past I remember as a young boy when England was nothing more than a holiday destination for me.” – Ian Howorth
Ian’s first book Arcadia was published by Setanta Books in 2019 is now sold out. In Passing published by OD Books, 2020, is also sold out. A Country Kind of Silence, 2023, is the artists’ third monograph.
“A Country Kind of Silence continues my internal exploration of feelings surrounding my sense of identity. A sense where belonging isn’t as alien as it is misunderstood. I still hesitate when anyone asks me where I’m from, no doubt a question owing to my unusual accent. England has been my adoptive home for some time now, 26 years to be exact. However moving from where the heart is rooted has had a profound effect on me. Feelings of unease and uncertainty have always been with me and many of these are tied to the things that I have seen around me change; things that have also signalled a change in myself as times gone by.
I wanted A Country Kind of Silence to be a response to this change; of perception and my personal sense of self. I want to celebrate this transitional period with pictures that show a quiet calm before the traditions and tropes of the past are lost in the things that often represent them: things associated with my adopted sense of identity in lieu of having one.
I often think of my relationship to the images I shot, both the ones that were selected and the ones that were not, and how they each help me understand the place I’m in. Pinks and blue hues just off a Kentish high street to the faded peach tones of Brightonian hairdressers say so much about who we were and how we did things but also where we are now and where we are headed. Hand stenciled signage in Great Yarmouth eliciting an immediate call to lift the camera to my eye – they are representations of a time and a place and everything in between, of when these things once thrived. We pass them often, sometimes daily, and pay them little attention, except when their dilapidation stands in stark contrast to the new.
For me, these things are part of my own backwards understanding of place – these tropes becoming a sort of roadmap to understand who I am, where I am and what things mean – assessing change from one phase to the next whenever there was a gap in my knowledge or a blank spot in my understanding. The man-made landscape is borne entirely from our creation – we plan and build, reap and destroy and repeat the process as we pass through and its easy to forget that many of these things still bear the influence of the past – telling us much about ourselves while stuck in time, surviving and sometimes just about existing.” – Ian Howorth, 2023
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