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BAW21 Irja Howie, Acrylic and Multimedia artist

Inspiration takes many different forms.

Today we take a look at an artist who is exhibiting at Bucks Art Weeks for the very first time. Caroline and I have known Irja Howie for a few years now and are so excited that she will be exhibiting at The Barn. We wish her every success on this part of her journey.

What are you most looking forward to about this year’s Bucks Art Weeks?

I can’t wait to enjoy and share art again in what will feel like such a huge ray of sunshine after all the doom and gloom we have all been through!

When did you know that you wanted to become an artist?

I think it is somehow in my DNA – it's all I ever wanted as a kid! And all I did in my spare time. Despite that somehow life took me on a completely different track and I’ve only reconnected with my creativity again in the last few years – which has made me feel complete again in a way that I hadn’t even really realised I wasn’t. I firmly believe though that everything happens for a reason and that my life experiences make me the artist that I am today!

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by nature and by people – women in particular. I’m endlessly fascinated by the beauty of colours, shapes and light in forests, flowers, water. I’m also a feminist and and believe in the importance of our connection to the world around us – that comes across in some of my work too.

Who is your favourite artist of all time and why?

Growing up Magritte was a big favourite of mine because of his sense of fun and his unconventional ideas to communicate a message through art. But in truth I have so many favourites I could not list them all...There are the big names like Picasso, Frida Kahlo and Matisse and van Gogh, who blow my mind with their colours and bold, forward-thinking ideas. But my favourite thing of all is roaming art galleries and finding artists and artwork previously unknown to me, that stop me in my tracks to simply marvel at their technique, or their colours, or simply the experience or feeling they have managed to share with me. That really is for the ultimate dream; for someone to look at my art, and feel that connection.

(Irja's work - above)

You can find out more about Irja (artist number 264) via the Bucks Art Weeks website or by clicking here or follow her on instagram.


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