In conversation: Harrison Bowe
Image: RISE 2023 exhibition at the Queen Victoria Art Gallery at Royal Park. Photo: QVMAG
When exploring the work of Tasmanian artist Harrison Bowe, you would be forgiven for falling into a gaze over the detail captured within his art.
Bowe’s artistic practice spans a variety of mediums; however, you’ll often find his work in the form of large-scale, picturesque landscape paintings.
On display within the Queen Victoria Museum at Art Gallery’s exhibition RISE, Bowe’s work titled Child of Gondwana (Loinnekumme/Arthur Range from Federation Peak) transports visitors into an awe-inspiring aerial view of our islands iconic, rugged and untouched natural landscape.
When asked about the influence behind his work, Bowe said the work of Tasmanian wilderness and conservationist Olegas Truchanas has played a significant role.
“It would be unjust to not mention Olegas Truchanas and his prodigy Peter Dombrovskis,” Bowe said.
“Anselm Keifer would be another artist who I've felt has influenced my practice, alongside American abstract expressionists—although they seemed to be a bunch of grumpy artists’ whose partners and wives were just as good. Nonetheless, I learnt a lot through researching the movement.”
Image: Child of Gondwana (Loinnekumme/Arthur Range from Federation Peak), 2023 © Harrison Bowe. Photo: QVMAG
While discussing the influence of Tasmania on his practice, Bowe said it would be hard not to be inspired by the landscape of our island while painting.
“Landscape is a big part of my practice. Growing up on an island you have a unique connection to the land for it defines so much of your everyday life,” he said.
“The rocks in Tasmania are ancient, which has produced some stunning forms that have been through so much to be where they are now.
“Paint as a medium is great as it is so immediate. Dip the brush in paint, whack it on a canvas, and you have a mark.
“As a lover of beeswax, I often mix this in to achieve true colour smudging.
“Finally, I can't forget spray paint. It’s untouchable in its ability to record three-dimensional movement on a two-dimensional surface. This, in conjunction with the length of marks it can produce, makes it a joy to use in my practice.”
For many emerging artists it can be hard to find a balance between working to fund their creative practice and career ambitions.
Image: Tasmanian artist Harrison Bowe. Image by Dr Nathan Taylor. Supplied courtesy of the artitst.
When asked what it means to be featured within the 2023 exhibition RISE, Bowe said it was a milestone moment.
“This is a pretty big milestone for me personally,” he said.
“I've never had the opportunity to show my work in an institution outside of the University of Tasmania whilst studying.
“I feel very fortunate to be able to create in my studio every day.
“Yet like any job, you can have bad days; although a bad day on the brush is better than a good day back at the factory.”
Child of Gondwana (Loinnekumme/Arthur Range from Federation Peak) by Tasmanian artist Harrison Bowe is now on display within the exhibition RISE at the Queen Victoria Art Gallery at Royal Park until 15 October 2023, with free entry.