Katherine Bowman ‘Locutions’ @ Craft Victoria

28 09 2011


Katherine Bowman‘s exhibition ‘Locutions (the loved object)‘ at Craft Victoria left me lost for words.

photograph taken with gallery permission

Exhibition media: “Poetry and craftsmanship in artist’s new exhibition, two years in the making

locution n. 1. a particular form of expression; a phrase or expression. 2. a style of speech or verbal expression; phraseology. (from Latin locutio an utterance, from locui to speak)

Katherine Bowman’s new work examines the way we imbue objects and artefacts with meaning. Through a series of small box like vessels, themes of containment, secrecy, talismanic power and personal mythology come together to create a collection of mysterious and quiet pieces that draw the viewer in like a small poem. Pulling inspiration from sources as diverse as Federico Garcia Lorca, Jean Baudrillard and Nick Cave, these intricately decorated boxes not only provide a secret space to carry one’s true self but a shelter for the vulnerable heart and the spirit animus.

photograph taken with gallery permission

I appreciated, and understood the artist process better by, the accompaniment of the objects with the watercolour paintings – I am baffled by, and admire, artists who paint and then make from the paintings (another who comes to mind is Hermann Junger) … I find it amazing!

The objects spoke to me more than the paintings though … incredible. Three of the five especially made their presence felt strongly:

photograph taken with gallery permission

I am absolutely in love with the white wine cup above … I dearly wanted to take it home, though the three are a group to stay together. They endear themselves even more for their reference of embroidery, a long-time love of mine too. They are engraved on the outer sides, which cannot be seen above, but can be in images on Katherine’s blog – beautiful.

The objects on a simple table is a beautiful presentation; though I was a little unsure of the wood colour and grain against the surfaces and beauty of the objects … though I must admit to not being able to offer an alternative. Though that said, I can see that the plain simplicity of the unadorned wood could be seen as a foil for the objects too … so perhaps it’s just a matter of difference in aesthetics (and/or my misunderstanding of the connection).

photograph taken with gallery permission

Regular readers will know how much I admire Katherine and her work … though it still surprises me that no matter how much I respect and admire and covet the works of an artist, I still find it difficult to connect with representation of animals! It’s just weird to me, I’m not sure why it’s a problem … though I have written about it a number of times before.

Katherine’s sensitivity and respect of the artistic process translate so well from jewellery into objects – I’m so happy she has a place to show her exhibition, and I congratulate her on the beautiful work. The connections are clear to the work I remember seeing of hers when I was still at RMIT in my degree and she was having her masters show (I think?) at Craft Vic – black embossed containers / houses.

It is absolutely worth making time to see this exhibition.

Locutions (the loved object)‘ is at Craft Victoria until 15th October 2011;
and there is an artist floor talk at 2pm on 8th October 2011.

Update (30th September): see also the post on Craft Victoria blog



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