Astra Howard

Virginia Baxter

Astra Howard, Public (private) living spaces II, Kings Cross, 2000

Astra Howard, Public (private) living spaces II, Kings Cross, 2000

Parts of Astra Howard appeared in the Outside In exhibition of works by UNSW College of Fine Art faculty members and PhD candidates curated by Rilka Oakley at Ivan Dougherty Gallery earlier this year. In particular, one of her legs and an arm protruded from a white box high on the gallery wall creating a troubling sense of exclusion and confinement in the bodies free to roam the gallery. The Other (Inside) II is one of a number of public actions captured on video and replicated as a live performance during the exhibition. As well as galleries, Astra has performed this action on the streets of Sydney and Delhi. Winner of a 2002 Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship, Howard has recently returned to Australia after a year travelling in Beijing, Paris, New York and Delhi comparing attitudes to public and private, stationary and transitory, individual and community and sense of concealment and exposure. In her ongoing project, Vagrant Landscapes for Transitional Bodies she asks, “What are the various contentions experienced by an individual interacting within an urban public space environment, and how can these positions be recorded, activated, manipulated or remembered?” In other actions, Howard has taken to city buildings with a stethoscope (Blindspot: feeling cities, 2001) and in Public (private) > living spaces II, 2000 occupied a Kings Cross tobacconist’s for a week, communicating with passers-by in written conversations on the glass.

RealTime issue #57 Oct-Nov 2003 pg. 14

© Virginia Baxter; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 October 2003
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