Tony Bowen’s exhibition opens on Friday 10 April at 6 pm (due to Easter).
Information about Tony and his work practice with mosaics is below. Please join us for this very interesting exhibition.
I was very lucky to get a start in art while doing a Nyerna Studies BA; working closely with a local elder on an eight panel mosaic mural of the rainbow serpent and animal icons entitled Wolumbarra. I had building trade experience and had done a lot of art when young; I greatly enjoyed working with tiles and discovered some proficiency. Soon after I had a serious car accident and doing mosaic played a key role in my recovery; since then I have continued to explore the subject matter in Wolumbarra with all my work – the traditional understandings of life and the land.
This led me to go bush with the aim of doing instinctive representations of country – camp, walk around; start work and see what comes out. Hard work but a great way to do art; the results are good and there is much learning and adventure. For some years I have been going to Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges; still wild country that is stunningly beautiful on many levels – ten years after discovering mosaic working on Wolumbarra I’m still exploring the same themes. Along the way I’ve exhibited regularly, won a few awards and been featured in European art books; I count myself very fortunate to be doing art full-time.
For the last five years I have been travelling to Parachilna Gorge in the northern Flinders Ranges where I camp for extended periods – as well as completing works I collect slate and ochre which I use in the studio back home. Being there is the big influence on my work – the spirit of place is very strong, hard tough country but with a beautiful and delicate DNA. Ancient rocks with thriving plant and animal life; a timelessness and a very powerful life force that can be felt every second of the day and is stunningly beautiful at night. Parachilna is a long way removed from modern life and has a strong female orientation which can be felt and seen – the works are mostly general studies that hopefully reflect the ancient stillness and life.