Justine Hounam (b. 1967, London, United Kingdom) is a visual artist working primarily in sculpture. Her series of bodily wall hangings capture the physical, psychological and metaphorical skin.
Justine is interested in our relationship with possessions and how they become an extension of the self. Furniture, although functional is chosen due to an aesthetic signalling to us and others, who we are and where we want to belong. Often surviving and becoming our legacy after death. Justine’s sculpture ‘entombs’ preloved aged and discarded possessions capturing the essence of what has been, she likens the process to ‘skin capture’.
Applying a casting process using DIY Acrylic paint and flexible fabric, Justine wraps and then unwraps found, given or her own furniture, to reveal a ‘skin’ pulled from its ‘body’. The contours, cracks and ageing of the furniture become interpreted as memories embedded in fabric. Often the furniture is displaced, broken or rearranged suggesting conflict/trauma associated violence inside the home. The home being a happy and protective envelope which can be penetrated by violence.
Justine is also interested in the wider use of conflict. Her work can be seen as a series of territories seen from above, flattened and revealed. Justine uses the personal as a backdrop to ask questions about society and politics. She takes a deeper unbiased view of the societal impact on the environment and space, and then uses that as one avenue for denoting inequalities and power struggles. This is coupled with her own experiences as single parent, navigating herself through the social-political changes of Britain from the 90s to present.
Her background in architecture, which she studied in the early 90’s is visible throughout her practice, with a keen attention for equilibrium of ordered chaos, echoing modern landscapes.
The materiality of the objects are integral, as they contain memories, subjectivity and personal space, whilst also having the unique ability to display the erosion of time and experience, which get imprinted onto cloth. Hounam sees the material and its idiosyncrasies as symbolic metaphor of skin and scar tissue.
Justine teaches Sculpture at the Mary Ward Centre in Bloomsbury.
Central St Martins MA Fine Art 2019-2021
University of East London, 1st Class BA (Hons)
BA Fine Art, September 2011 - July 2014
Mary Ward Centre, London
Foundation in Art and Design, 2010-2011 Distinction
University of North London (now Metropolitan University)
BSC Architecture, 1989-1992
Anthony Gormley Foundation Foundation Award (£12000) September 2019
Art and Design: Practice Research Publication (£2000) May 2014
Concrete Blue, Group Exhibition at ASC Unit 3, London, 4-11 September 2020
I Promise You, Group Exhibition at Apairy Studio, London 5-8 March 2020
The Denney Edition: Celebrating An Icon Of 20th Century Style
Commission June 2019 – 2021 at Rainham Hall, National Trust
Geography Of Interiors, Group Exhibition at ASC Unit 3, London, 7-9 June 2019
Affirmation, Group Exhibition, Art Number 23, Old Biscuit Factory, London, 15 March
Skins, Solo Exhibition at The Bomb Factory Art Foundation, 24 – 26 2018
T’art, Bones & Pearl Gallery, Group Exhibition, 7 – 9 March 2017
Dark Regards, Ply Gallery, Group Exhibition, 20 – 30 January 2017
Summer Salon, Lubomirov/Angus-Hughes, Group Exhibition, 23 July – 24 August 2016
Trumped, Art Auction, CNB Gallery, Tramshed, March 16
Drying Depot, Trinity Buoy Wharf, 14 April 2016, Group Exhibition with Alexis Harding, Alaena Turner, Daryl Brown, Sophia Starling
Walthamstow Art Trail, 15 Upper Walthamstow Road, 30 May - 14 June 2015
Art Auction, CNB Gallery, Tramshed, 32 Rivington Street, London 28 - 30 April
Remember, Group Exhibition, St Johns, Bethnal Green, London, April 17 - 19 2015
Tondo, Group Exhibition, AVA Building, London 18 - 26 Feb 2015
Top Draw, Group Exhibition, Olympia, 14 - 16 September 2015
Group Exhibition, Queens Wood, N10, August 2014
Group Exhibition, AVA Building, London, 29 - 1 June 2014
Time, Art Auction, CNB Gallery, Tramshed, 32 Rivington Street, London March 2014
Forms Of Subversion, Group Exhibition, Asylum Chapel, Peckham, London, 7 - 9 March 2014
Group Exhibition, AVA Gallery, Docklands 4 - 6 February 2014
Light And Weight, Group Exhibition, Rag Factory, Brick Lane, London, 22 - 25 November 2013
Group Exhibition, AVA Gallery, UEL, Docklands 29 October 2013
Portlanders, Group Exhibition, AVA Gallery, UEL, Docklands Campus 2 - 9 October 2013
Innoninate, Group Exhibition, 5th Base Gallery, Brick Lane, London 6 - 7 May 2013
2nd Year Show, UEL, Docklands 7 - 12 June 2013
Grace of London, Mount Street Gallery, London 11 - 14 June
Transformation, Our Space Gallery, June 27 2012 until August 31 2012
UEL Olympics Print Exhibition, FSA, Canary Wharf, 21 May 2012