There’s something alien about the way these metallic structures move, a fluidity that makes them seem as if they’re alive. Each one transforms so completely as it spins, the results almost seem like optical illusions. It’s really all a play of light and shadow on cleverly designed kinetic sculptures, which are engineered to spin effortlessly whether the winds are barely blowing or gusting with extreme force.
Working through many a night in his remote workshop on Orcas Island, Washington, Howe refuses commissioned orders, working only from his personal creative inspiration. Hundreds of his sculptures have sold to private and public collections around the world, including large-scale urban works in several cities.
“Kinetic sculpture resides at the intersection of artistic inspiration and mechanical complexity. The making of one of my nieces relies on creative expression, metal fabrication, and a slow design process in equal parts. It aims to alter one’s experience of time and space when witnessed. It also needs to weather winds of 90mph and still move in a one mile per hour breeze and do so for hundreds of years.”