Susan Hobbs

Patrick Howlett

miraculous network

08 Sep - 15 Oct 2022

Patrick Howlett
Mesmer's magnet, 2022
Patrick Howlett
Mind is more than brain, 2022
The recent paintings in miraculous network are a continuation of Howlett’s interest in humoural theory; ideas rooted in ancient medical philosophy that continued to influence western thinking well into the 20th century. Based on four basic humours - fluids in the body that had intrinsic qualities manifesting in the character and health of individuals - placed the microcosm of the body into the macrocosm of the natural world. Body and mind are intertwined and body is subject to the humoural qualities both vegetal and animal, the weather, the seasons, etc.

Using some of these ideas as structural metaphors for the painting as a kind of body, made up of fluids and subject to the juxtapositions and characters of a variety of forms, these new paintings are not singularly formal or symbolic, figurative or expressive, but move between macro and micro imagery, interior and exterior spaces. A body-mind reflecting on itself as a kind of still life, where the goal might be equilibrium of forces, but the results often have a complexity that is difficult to diagnose.