This a curated selection of work for Dean Bowen's upcoming exhibition 'The Welcome Stranger'. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register interest.
With a practice spanning over thirty-five years and encompassing painting, bronze sculpture and printmaking, Melbourne-based artist Dean Bowen has developed a distinctive symbolic language that traverses urbanity and rurality, humanity and animality. Renowned for his charming, whimsical renditions of kindly animals, quirky characters and Australian environments, the artist evinces the simple pleasures of human habitation within the modern world.
Bowen’s new collection celebrates the vicissitudes of life through a prism of humour and optimism. Crafted from foraged materials, the artist’s wall assemblages explore the idiosyncratic interplays between mankind and the animal kingdom. Tin panels, nails and wire are transformed into anthropomorphised figures that peer out at the viewer with rusty omniscient eyes. Their totemic forms and earthy tones evoke primitive associations, forming a kind of private ritual between artist and object. Tapping into the human preoccupation with our own image from early civilizations to contemporary culture, the assemblages are like primitive offerings that deify the detritus of the modern world. They are a scavenged horde that appears to us from the industrial wasteland of the future, and yet there’s an aura of joy radiating from these characters – a redemptive quality that reminds us to look beyond life’s litter.