Darren Howat on the Relationship between Art and Philanthropy

Today's featured card from the Summer Postcard Lottery with CultureLabel is by Darren Howat. There's just 3 days left to get your lottery ticket and maybe win one of 21 original postcard sized artworks including Darren's excellent neon, fluent line drawing. 

RT -For the readers who maybe aren’t familiar with your work, in a few words could you introduce yourself?

DH -I was born and now live in London. After 2 years working in Milan I moved to Puglia in southern Italy for seven years, where I still have a little house with an olive grove.

I am a trained photographer, graphic designer and illustrator. I won a scholarship to study graphics at the RCA after completing a BA at St.Martins.

RT - Talk us through your postcard. What materials have you used? Who are the characters? Is it part of a series?

DH- The postcard is a giclée print of a drawing I did at the Deptford clothes swap in London. My eldest son is the child in the middle of the drawing with his mum (who organises the event) standing to his far right. The other characters are Deptford locals trying on clothes. The drawing was inverted digitally to create the almost neon colours out of black.

There was a lot of movement there and so I had to work quickly to get the impression of what was in front of me down. You have to leave out quite a lot of what you see in front of you. It’s a quite intense process but it gives the image a distinctive look.

Get your lottery ticket HERE!

Get your lottery ticket HERE!

The image is part of a series from a recent exhibition in London called ‘hang on a minute’. In the exhibition I was trying to convey something about the nature of Alzheimers by the way I make images rapidly, reflecting the way short term memory works. It’s the first thing that goes with Alzheimers and so I wanted to capture that idea.

RT - Your exhibition Hang on a Minute was a series of works each made in a matter of minutes, and inspired by your father David, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, with 50% of profits going to Arts 4 Dementia. What is the relationship between philanthropy and art?

DH - Arts 4 Dementia take people with early stage dementia to galleries and concerts and make sure art remains part of their life, which is can be hugely beneficial to them. So it seemed the natural thing to do. I think art and philanthropy are perfect partners.

My father taught my brother and I to draw and paint from a young age. We would travel around Europe in a small caravan and all draw together. This had a huge impact on me and I now do the same with my kids. Drawing definitely helped me deal with the progressive nature of the my father’s disease.

RT - What is your daily inspiration?

DH - New places, new stories, new people and coffee.

RT - Why did you want to get involved with Art on a Postcard?

DH - Because i think art and philanthropy can help each other. Obviously my art can generate some money and exposure for this cause. I think working on this project has also helped me to feel like a something positive I can do to help my father and other people in the same situation.

 RT - Where can our readers find out more about upcoming projects and learn more of your work?