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Ian Howard

The arms of the people


Ian Howard The arms of the people 1990, bronze, unique cast, National Gallery of Australia more detail

Artist's statement
'My individual investigation which involved inquiring, searching, experiencing and interacting with predominantly military hardware satisfied certain curiosities, brought into light other major issues and posed further questions.'

The arms of the people
Howard has used war and the military as a subject for his art since 1970. He has travelled to military establishments all over the world studying weapons and associated technology. The artist has a fascination with war and through his art he expresses his concern about the menace of war. Each work becomes a forceful statement on the destruction and torment caused by military technology and the arms race.

The arms of the people is a symbolic sculpture. The artist has used found objects in his artwork, which were then cast in bronze. The materials Howard uses are often discarded children’s toys, particularly war toys. In The arms of the people a bullet-headed figure leans under the weight of the scarred wing of an old war plane.