Nitty Gritty: New sculptures & paintings by Dean Bowen
Exhibition Dates: November 26 – December 19, 2021
Meet the Artist: The Shrine of Remembrance Curator Neil Sharkey in conversation with Dean Bowen talking about the 'Imagining Centaur' Exhibition. (19 minutes)
Dean Bowen's Imagining Centaur: A special exhibition at the Shrine of Remembrance from August 2020 to April 2022, 'Dean Bowen’s Imagining Centaur' features this specially commissioned animation of Dean Bowen’s Centaur series of charcoal drawings by Japanese audio-visual artist, Ayumi Sasaki. The animation, inspired by Bowen’s art and the work of historian Dr Madonna Grehan, incorporates a soundscape by musician Guy Webster with excerpts of the epic poem, Hospital Ship Centaur by Paul Sherman read by actress and playwright Elaine Ackworth. The piece ends with ABC archival audio footage of the most famous of Centaur’s survivor’s, Sister Ellen Savage. Sister Savage’s eyewitness account, taken from her hospital bed in 1943, describes the moment the survivors were rescued.
The animation is a wonderful synergy of several creative minds, from two nations, once enemies now friends, which bring to life Dean’s beautiful, unsettling but ultimately hopeful vision.
Argy Bargy: A 60 minute documentary on the life and practise of Australian painter, sculptor and printmaker Dean Bowen.
From a 2009 essay by Sheridan Palmer: In a rapidly changing, urbanised world, Dean Bowen's art maps our metropolitan and emotional conditions, transforming contemporary rituals and memories into accessible images, emblems and narratives. Indeed, Bowen persuades us to look not so much at the grand or romantic spectacle but at ourselves, and those intimate elements we often take for granted. His paintings, sculpture and prints show us a world populated by birds, animals, humans, aeroplanes, trucks and quirky automobiles.
But with a subtle manoeuvring of our senses he guides us to intangible places where the earth meets the sky, or where the mysterious realm of stars, space, light and darkness, fullness, emptiness, movement and inertia invite our emotional and intuitive faculties into play. His images are usually reductive, even primal, an aesthetic language that invokes the simple pleasures of the natural world or the honed rhythms of a mechanical metropolis.
Moreover, Bowen's art shatters the notion of post-structuralist complexities and the sterile elegance of conceptualism, with an emphasis on a 'radical innocence', a figurative engagement that is at once playfully antagonistic yet felicitously humorous.
Directed by Peter M Lamont
Music by Richard Tedesco