Katherine Bowman ‘My Assemblages’ @ Milly Sleeping

6 05 2015

Katherine Bowman is showing a small collection of works ‘My Assemblages‘ at Milly Sleeping (a lovely little boutique in Carlton).

It’s a gorgeous group.

photograph taken with permission

photograph taken with permission

The above photograph doesn’t do it justice at all. The colours are wonderful, the display is beautifully balanced, and there’s a sense of delight that’s palpable.

I was especially taken with the pendant second-from-the-left … I even tried it on … I’m still thinking about taking it home. If you’re like me and regularly read Katherine’s blog, you’ll also have seen some images of these as I did; even so, when I saw them in person their scale surprised and pleased me.

I also tried on the rings, and they’re completely amazing (especially Ring #3).

Make sure you check out Katherine’s blog for much more beautiful photographs of these works, as well as the accompanying watercolours.

This is a perfectly compact and coherent collection, and offering this kind of showing space to a maker is pretty special. Most importantly because of the small-ish scale : my feeling is that it may permit a little more adventure, perhaps it would encourage a maker to take a little more risk to follow a new line of enquiry when the group is relatively intimate.

As a maker (though relapsed?!) I’d find this kind of presentation forum and scale much more approachable and achievable, as opposed to a blockbuster solo show (well at least that’s how I’d imagine it). And the fewer objects there are, the more each one can be seen in better focus and appreciated for its uniqueness.

Go along; be inspired.

Katherine Bowman’s ‘My Assemblages‘ is at Milly Sleeping until 24th May 2015.


See also:


Katherine Bowman ‘a found thing’ @ e.g.etal

28 09 2012

Oh no, oh no, oh no! I didn’t realise that Katherine’s exhibition ‘a found thing (consolation of consolations) was only open for two weeks … oh no!!!

As regular readers know, Katherine Bowman is one of my favourite jewellers. As such, I’m really very sad that I didn’t pay attention to the timing earlier, as now I know I won’t be able to see her beautiful exhibition in its collected glory in person.

exhibition media; click on image for original source

Exhibition media: “We form relationships with the objects we collect. These relationships define and add meaning to our lives. Over time, the jewellery that we collect comes to define who we are and our life’s experiences: its milestones and its fleeting moments, our thoughts and our feelings and our tastes. The rings, earrings, pendants and works on paper in this exhibition express an honesty of process, form and material. They are carefully brought into being to carry meanings both expressed and inexpressible. It is in seeing and in touching these works that we are taken in by them. A tactile relationship is formed and in this the role of the maker becomes immediately but also subtly evident.

I relate to the way Katherine thinks and makes, especially with this group.

exhibition media; click on image for original source

Exhibition media: “a found thing (the consolation of consolations) is made up of seven different bodies of work. Each body explores a slightly different aesthetic, creating the impression of having been collected at different times and from different places; colour, texture and form drawing them all together even as they stand apart.
For Katherine this work is the culmination of years of research and experience. It is about a deep love of making. This work is the work of a collector and a maker and it is about the relationship between these two elements of Katherine’s art.

exhibition media; click on image for original source

The e.g.etal website has images of all of the pieces in this exhibition.
On her blog, Katherine generously shares stories behind all of the seven bodies of work.
I’m so thankful to her, otherwise I would miss out altogether.

Honestly, Katherine’s work is beautiful, so beautiful. I wish I could have organised myself better to be able to see these many pieces together in exhibition.

Katherine Bowman’s ‘a found thing (consolation of consolations)‘ is at e.g.etal until 29th September 2012.


Update (28th September): I’ve been thinking more about this collection today, since writing the above.  Specifically, what I’ve been wondering, is how the ‘Interior‘ group (especially) would translate into small objects… I think they’d be outstanding as ‘sculptures’… just my thoughts …


Makers mark: Katherine Bowman

21 03 2012

One of my favourite jewellers, Katherine Bowman, has kindly allowed me to publish her makers mark, and has provided me with a lovely story about her mark.

Katherine Bowman makers mark; with artist permission

I did not want my initials as my stamp. I suppose that it would have made sense to do this as the actual mark is so small, and the image that I have chosen is sometimes hard to read.

It has never been important to me to sign my work, I especially do not like signing works on paper or paintings especially on the front of the image. I now sign the back, and with prints I sign the front as is the tradition with this.

Once I finished Gold and Silversmithing and started selling my work I was told that I had to stamp my work if I was going to continue to sell it through galleries. So I had a stamp made with the image of the warp and weft of fabric, and have been very attached to my stamp ever since.

At the time I had the stamp made I was researching the significance of storytelling in jewellery and textiles. I came across a number of texts that explored the notion that different cultures wove their belief systems into the fabric they made. Clothes, not only protected the wearer, but like jewellery, also marked an individual’s role in society as well as in the life cycle.

The symbol of the warp and weft for me is about storytelling. I think that it is beautiful as a simple image, and at the same time it refers to something greater than itself.

I use in my artist statement the words of Trinh T. Minh-ha:
Storytelling: her words set in motion the things that lie
dormant in things and beings…

Katherine Bowman, with artist permission

I will add this information to my makers mark page.

It would be so super duper if more artists would please contribute to this knowledge bank!

Also – I wonder, have artists with blogs and websites added their makers mark to their information??

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