J BOWDEN

AN ARTIST'S WORKBOOK

Jonathan Bowden


Installing the latest exhibition, Of Stone and Shadows, at the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery

A world class exhibition space in the middle of nowhere might sound odd to many ears, until you hear that the place is Cradle Mountain in Tasmania.

Originally designed as a naturally lit gallery for wilderness photography, the design of the rooms is ideal for paintings or prints, and when I was offered the chance to show a selection of my work there about a year ago I readily accepted it.

Soon after I began working in Tasmania, using pastel and tempera on large gesso panels, outdoors and in all seasons, I had the idea that at some stage I would like to present all of my work as a sequence,  or a collection of sequences, a 'Book of hours and Seasons' encompassing the astonishing beauty and purity of the Tasmanian landscape, a landscape the like of which disappeared a thousand years ago from Europe, and from most other places in the world.

This exhibition includes paintings from some of those many pastel on panel series in which I have tried to distill the essential features of a place, a weather, a time of day, a season; and it also includes the first twelve examples of a print on watercolour paper series which I have been developing with the assistance of a very expert printer in Hobart, Simon Olding.

Eventually I plan to produce another 48 prints in this series, with the overall title 'Of Stone and Shadows', which will I hope allow strangers, as well as local Tasmanians, to gather intimate glimpses, as well as an overall picture, of the extraordinary landscape which has over the last 30 years become my obsession. 

Caitlin Sutton