Howard Hardiman is Artist in Residence at Quay Arts’ Jubilee Stores studios in Newport, Isle of Wight.
After growing up on the cusp of London and Surrey, he studied the interdisciplinary art theory and practice Cultural Studies degree at the Norwich School of Art and Design, his work culminating in a collection of poems written during a month of not speaking.
As a graduate, Howard worked with autistic Deaf teenagers in education settings in Leeds, went on to be the community sign language interpreter for the London Borough of Newham. After this, he worked as a freelance sign language interpreter for psychiatric hospitals, HIV clinics, art galleries and television companies. He was one of the team of on-screen interpreters for Channel 4′s VEE-TV.
Returning to creative practice, Howard began providing gallery tours and art workshops for the National Gallery, Tate Modern and the Hayward Gallery. This led to work as the access programmer for the National Maritime Museum, where he developed workshops to teach astronomy to blind people and also set up the museum’s first Sign Like A Pirate Day.
Howard has worked with the anarchic cabaret collective, Duckie, creating two interactive pieces for Gay Shame, one a gay sauna for zombies and the other a belittling beauty salon.
During this time, he held several exhibitions of photography around London and returned to drawing. After a few short zines, he produced his first book, Badger, telling the tale of a lonely badger wandering around Brockley in South London. Forbidden Planet International’s reviewer listed it among their favourite books of the year. After the second book, Badger: Then and Now, Howard started the MA Visual Art programme at Camberwell College of Art.
His MA project, The Lengths, was picked up by Diamond Distribution and was covered in Time Out, Attitude, Bizarre and New Statesman. Based on interviews with male sex workers in London, the comic is a tale of sex, drugs and unrequited love. A compiled book of the series is in the works, both in English and in German. He is also the writer of The Peckham Invalids, a comic about disabled teenage superheroines in Edwardian Peckham.
In December 2012, he exhibited as a part of the Something Human exhibition at Brockspace in London. A short film about Howard’s work and Badger will be released soon.
Now based on the Isle of Wight, Howard works from his Newport studio, selling comic books through comics shops across the UK and abroad and through his online store. His current projects include a series of paintings of mythological hybrids, cute animal commissions and illustrations for a book of poetry about Angela Lansbury.
Howard was described as “Suave” by Simply Knitting magazine.