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Journal - Exhibitions

What I saw when I went away by Katherine Bowman

Celebrating her 20th year of making jewellery, Katherine Bowman brings together her full complement of skills in a new exhibition of jewellery, sculpture and painting.What I saw when I went away draws on Katherine’s recent travels to New York City, comprising a selection of subjective, abstract ‘souvenirs’. Through these objects, Katherine explores the idea that when we travel to see things, what we really see is ourselves.

The projection of self on to what you see, experience, and ultimately what we create is central to Katherine’s philosophy. This exhibition is a reflection on how travel and new experiences inform the creation of original work, and how the act of seeing becomes the instigator of the creative process. In these new works are traces of the experience of travel, interpreted in an entirely subjective way.

Katherine Bowman exhibition

The exhibition also marks the launch of Katherine’s sculptural work, intended to both extend her range and also to tell the story of her artistic practice. For Katherine, jewellery-making has its roots in sculpture – it is the process of sketching, painting and sculpture that informs her work. Moving from large painting, to sculptures, to small votives and then eventually to rings, this exhibition takes the viewer on a journey through Katherine’s artistic process.

Referencing museum relics, three bronze sculptures mimic ancient artefacts, but with ‘awkward’ elements that clearly mark them as modern pieces. These idosyncracies are important to Katherine’s work: a challenge to the viewer to think and engage.

A collection of small votives – objects carried for protection or remembrance – is inspired by prehistoric clay figures. Designed to be held and carried rather than worn, these animalistic figures engage the sense of touch. For Katherine, votives explain the significance of jewellery and are the natural link between sculpture and jewellery: highly personal objects with emotional significance, often offering reassurance or an anchor to tradition.


Finally, a series of rings hang elegantly from hooks, like objects in a museum. Here we see her rings in a new light – as tiny sculptures speaking the inner voice of the artist in every fine detail. Through this journey we have come to understand that Katherine’s jewellery exists in a space beyond the decorative – it exists as part of a holistic art practice that encompasses the process of seeing, discovering, projecting and making.

What I saw when I went away will exhibit at e.g.etal from 5 – 24 October, 2015.

Join us for drinks with the artist on Friday 9th October, from 5-7pm at e.g.etal.

Katherine Bowman exhibition

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