Michael Howells has been a hugely important figure in the life of Port Eliot Festival for many years. His design and art direction achievements in fashion, theatre and film, including his work for Christian Dior, John Galliano, Mario Testino and the Rambert Ballet Company, marked him out as a renaissance man.
Michael literally set the stage for hundreds and hundreds of artists at Port Eliot, his beautiful creations for our Bowling Green, Orangery and fashion stages spreading grace and drama across the site. His one-off installations inside the House at Port Eliot – the ‘Rebecca’ dress made with pages from the novel and the silk ‘Spring Flowers’ chandelier which he designed and constructed with flowers and feathers to name two of many – are very different works that built new atmospheres and brought new spirit to the rooms of the ancient house. He was a great friend of the festival and today’s news of his death is very sad for all of us here.