I never understood Peter's work when I was younger, his portraits of Madonna and Henrik Larsson were works I personally disliked, that was the only work I was aware of in the early noughties but it was only in the past 4 or 5 years I've looked deeper into his work, in fact it was a you tube video of Howson painting Dawn French that made Howson interest me and I went on to read about his personal life including his stint as an official war artist to try to understand Howson's work. It's only when you try to understand an artist as deep as Howson that you can fully appreciate the complexity. From disliking Peter's work I can honestly say now I'm at a point where Howson's work has influenced me and I'm delighted that he seems to be winning the battle with his demons.
"While I was at my lowest ebb in Gartnavel Royal Psychiatric Ward a few months ago, I was talking to one of the male nurses. I particularly liked this older man, and benefited from his kindness and understanding. He finished off the conversation by saying, “Peter, in here is Death. Out there is Life!”
"For far too long I had been mentally and physically unwell, being rushed to hospital in ambulances far too many times. I have felt a tremendous sense of guilt for the pain that I put my family and friends through. But one day an amazing thing happened. I woke up and felt content and happy, wanting to live again and do what I like best: draw and paint! While I still feel tired, I am very happy now that I am getting better and working hard. I'm also very excited about my upcoming exhibitions - the most excited I've been, and most well I've felt since about 1993! I would like to extend my sincere thanks to my family and friends for the love and support they've continually given me, and to thank you for continuing to support my work."
From Death to life, Peter Howson Exhibition
The Maclaurin Art Gallery, Ayr
3rd of March to 14th of April