Arcadia has often been referred to in popular culture as an unobtainable utopian vision. A fictional land that is depicted as fertile and bountiful of Edenic proportions. Held aloft by artists, poets and playwrights as a vision of purity and perfection. Now, tragically corrupted and lost somehow, it remains lodged in our collective psyche as a touchstone.
In this, his first monograph, Ian Howorth looks to use this existing cultural framework to explore his personal connections to his own utopian ideal of ‘home’. Having moved home many times as a child before finally settling in Britain, his relationship with this concept has been fraught.
Often considering himself an outsider.
“I was born and raised in Peru to an English father, and visited England many times before settling here at the age of 16. The older I got the more I realised the trouble I had with the concept of home. I didn’t have one. Having lived in nine different houses and three different countries by the time I was 16, this has left me with a confused identity and a certain unease with myself.
This series is a way by which I try to connect with my home of 20 years – a place which feels more home than any other place, but one that I don’t feel – I’ve had to learn. The places I visit are reminders of visiting England as a young boy in the 80’s and 90’s and are a way of reconnecting with a place by going back in time – seeing and feeling the textures of theplaces which would have been commonplace had I always been here. In order to really understand this place, I try to connect all the disconnected pieces. I think this is the onlyway I’m going to get to really feel like this is home. I want toget it in my bones and in my blood rather than it always feel like a learned response to a forced circumstance.
The images in this series capture a retro nostalgia and constantly question our preconceived ideas of beauty. Arcadia takes us from the serene if not metronomic seaside towns of the South to the Working Mens Clubs and forgotten factories of the North. Through his unique style and mastery of film, Ian highlights a contemporary Britain suffocated by its past whilst allowing the viewer to draw their own conclusions.
Book to be released __ March, 2019
600 copies | Hard Back | 114 pages
Retail price of £30
Published by Setanta Books