Courtney is a freelance fashion, art and design writer and content creator for www.mrgift.com.au - an online boutique specialising in quality gifts for men. Read more of Courtneys work at www.alittlepinkbook.blogspot.com.au
Dean Bowen:New morning (paintings, prints & sculpture)
Dean Bowen's vibrantly coloured compositions of insects and animals have a quirky, naοve quality that appeal to one's inner child. Bowen's bold, deceptively simple oil paintings are so captivating that they appeal on many levels. In fact, his striking images wouldn't look out of place in an exquisite children's book.
Bowen's latest exhibition, New morning showcases his signature birds and animals, as well as images from urban and country life, such as skyscrapers and starry night scenes with comets. The success of Bowen's work lies in his ability to play "with aspects of scale reflecting on both the monumental as well as the miniature, often merging and juxtaposing the two. Urban and rural scenes are brought to life with comical protagonists who possess complex personalities and emotions despite their simplified rendition".
Having extensively exhibited nationally and internationally, you may have previously seen Bowen's work at the National Gallery of Australia, Australian War Memorial, Heide Museum of Modern Art and the Contemporary Art and Culture Centre, Osaka, Japan. Bowen has also been commissioned to create a major tapestry for the City of Melbourne's Town Hall, as well as a recent sculpture for the Canterbury and Shepparton regions of Victoria. Canberrans will be familiar with Bowen's work in Petrie Plaza where a sculpture, "The big little man", has been on display since 2008.
Judy Holding's watercolour and ink compositions are a celebration of the Australian landscape, flora and fauna. Featuring native animals and references for Aboriginal art techniques, Holding's works are like fairy tales or a magical dreams that draw you in until you absorb even minute detail.
The rich, muted jewel tones of works such as Cannon Hill waterholes, Bird landscape, Skin, Yirridja owns yellow II and Pardalotes demonstrate Holding's mastery of colour, whilst bi-colour linocuts and silk-screen prints highlight mastery of composition detail. The exhibition also includes a selection of black and white and coloured sculptures of Australian trees and birds.
Holding's long-term fascination with Australian flora and fauna, as well as her deep respect for the environment and indigenous culture is evident in this collection. Holding says, "Working as a landscape artist in Australia, one is always conscious of those who have gone before. I have used the layering of watercolour images to stress the richness and unresolved tensions of the Australian bush." Holding's work also reflects her concern for the future of our native environment that is put at risk due to "Genetic modification, industrial agriculture, global warming, fracking etc. etc. It is becoming increasingly obvious just how much the fragility of natural systems and the interconnectedness of species is being ignored."
Diary 1 artist book, linocut, silkscreen & watercolour, edition 4 of 6, 20 x 300cm (dimensions variable). Image from www.beavergalleries.com.au
Based in Melbourne, Holding is an established artist who has been practising for over thirty years. Since completing her Diploma of Fine Art at Monash University in 1977, Holding has been involved in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Australia. Career highlights have included exhibiting at in Le Sei Stagioni della Terra Australiana at the Monash University Centre in Prato, Italy in 2002, and being a finalist in the Montalto Sculpture Prize, 2007. More recently, Holding was a finalist in the 2016 Swan Hill Print & Drawing Acquisitive Award. Holding has also been shortlisted for the 2016 National Works on Paper Award at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery for her artist book 'Diary 1'. Collections throughout Australia including the National Gallery of Australia, Artbank, Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Monash University, Melbourne (Rare Books and Prints Collection), Benalla and Shepparton regional galleries represent Holding's work.