Howlett, Patrick

Patrick Howlette, Superficial Agitations of Matter, 2010.


Superficial Agitations of Matter

The title of the work comes from this paragraph in Henri Bergson’s The Creative Mind (New York: Wisdom Library, 1946, translated by Mabelle L. Andison), p. 40: We recognize, furthermore, that the limits within which the intellect works have a certain elasticity, its contours a certain haziness, and that its indecision is exactly what permits it to be applied in some degree to the things of the mind. Matter and mind have this in common, that certain superficial agitations of matter are expressed in our minds, superficially, in the form of sensations; and on the other hand, the mind, in order to act upon the body, must descend little by little toward matter and become spatialized. It follows that the intelligence, although turned toward external things, can still be exerted on things internal, provided that it does not claim to plunge to deeply.

Egg tempera on panel,
  • 2010
28 x 21.5 cm



Patrick Howlett completed a BFA at Concordia University in Montreal in 1997 and a MFA at the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia, in 2006. He has exhibited across Canada and internationally. He was a semi-finalist in the 2008 RBC Canadian Painting Competition and a member of the jury for the 2011 competition. He has written essays and reviews for Canadian Art and Tabula Quarterly, among others. He is based in London, Ontario, where he teaches at Western University. His work can be found in many collections.