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Journal - Exhibitions, News, Stories

Katherine Bowman and Forces of Nature…

Investigating the intricacies of land and sea, flora and fauna, the artists presented in ‘Forces of Nature’ attend to the complex relationship between contemporary Australia and its unique natural environment. Engaging notions of place, the intimacies of individual experience and the complexities of history, ‘Forces of Nature’ explores the continuities of ongoing and recently expanded traditions of adornment—focusing on dialogues between nature, culture and ‘the body’.

Forces of Nature was an exhibition curated by Melissa Keys, which showed in Washington DC at the Embassy of Australia Gallery from November 2011 to February 2012.

The exhibition featured work by thirteen Australian artists: Tessa Blazey, Julie Blyfield, Sarah Elson, Auntie Corrie Fullard, Marian Hosking, Nicky Hepburn & IIka White, Jeanette James, Sue Kneebone, Carlier Makigawa, Aubrey Tigan, Catherine Truman and Katherine Bowman.

The pieces that Katherine Bowman made for this exhibition are now on display and for sale at e.g.etal and online. These pieces are a beautiful and subtle evocation of the Australian landscape in both a personal and an historical sense. Katherine says of her work:

“The exploration of nature is not overt in these works. I felt it was too obvious to just make works that looked like they were picked up from nature. Rather, the forms are directly influenced by a consideration of both nature and the cultural environment in which they were made. This is why I chose not to use overt Australian imagery. I like for pieces to be explored by the viewer. If the imagery is too obvious, and everything is stated, then there is nothing left for the viewer to explore.

I also feel that my cultural identity is a constructed one: my family history is made up of people from different countries, so my personal history is a mix of different cultures and experiences. This is why the works are all slightly different. They’re more like keepsakes, referencing different experiences and histories. I wanted them to look like they were from a private collection, that they were a bit old and worn, that there was a history to each piece….”

Sketch Colony - Katherine Bowman


Colony neckpiece

Sketch Journey - Katherie Bowman



Journey neckpiece


Marengo Beach neckpiece

Sketch Rings - Katherine Bowman

Sketch Rings - 2 - Katherine Bowman


Leaf Seed Pod ring


Recollection ring

Sketch Rockpool - Katherine Bowman


Rockpool ring

Sketch - News - Katherine Bowman

Sketch - Pendant - Katherine Bowman