26 May – 12 June 2016
about the exhibition
Dean Bowen’s works are characterised by vibrant colour, environmental symbolism and dynamic composition. His depictions of animals, insects, buildings and objects reflect his quirky and infectious sense of humour whilst also reminding us of our common struggles and triumphs. Dean plays with aspects of scale reflecting on both the monumental as well as the miniature, often merging and juxtaposing the two. Dean has approached this new body of work with a renewed sense of enthusiasm;“Last year I moved to a larger light filled studio space that I had been searching for over a long period of time. This new space, with wonderful light, was filled with the optimism of a new morning as I continued developing different series of works simultaneously… all enhancing and reflecting each other through a prism of humour and optimism. In the excitement of the new studio my focus remains both the same and different as I experiment, pursuing the work to where it takes me while simultaneously searching for undiscovered subjects and pathways.” A concern for happiness is evident in all of Dean’s work, his wit and naïve style the hallmarks of an artist engaging with a wide audience whilst retaining sophisticated dialogues.
Dean Bowen has exhibited with much acclaim in Australia and overseas. He has also worked on a number of commissions, including a major tapestry for the City of Melbourne’s Town Hall and recent sculpture for the Canterbury and Shepparton regions of Victoria. In 2008, the ACT Government purchased a major sculpture of Dean’s, “The big little man”, which is permanently installed in Petrie Plaza, Canberra city and more recently commissioned a second bronze “Lady with flowers” which is situated in Gungahlin.Dean is a regular participant in national and international awards, winning the sponsor’s prize in the 4th Sapporo International Print Biennale in Japan in 1998, and, in 2003, the people’s choice award at the Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award as well as the Tai-he masterpiece award at the 1st International Print Biennial of Beijing. He was selected as a finalist in the 2009 Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Dean’s works are in many significant collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Australian War Memorial, Parliament House, Heide Museum of Modern Art, BibliothequeNationale (Paris, France) and the Contemporary Art and Culture Centre (Osaka, Japan).