May 20, 2016 – June 25, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, June 3rd, 5pm – 8pm
From May 20th to June 25th, 2016 the AAAC ARC Gallery will feature a selection from Jenny Bowen‘s new series The Elemental Essence, a collection of preserved natural found items assembled with antique portraiture.
Jenny Bowen, an accomplished assemblage artist, photographer and lifelong Ashevillian, is best known for her comprehensive photo documentary project “Faces of Asheville,” from 2009. A multi-award winning assemblage artist, her frequent shows over the last decade have been part of the creative renaissance of Asheville’s Artistic Revival.
The past several years her work has focused on intricately detailed assemblages using scavenged metal ephemera. This exhibit’s scope of materials is the primal earthiness of natural gleanings from Mother Nature. Bowen uses a mélange of characters in photographs who speak up from eras past, circa 1860-1960, cameoed within a diverse mixture of natural materials of leaves, nuts, bark, shells and stones. Canvases vary from urban driftwood, farm lumber and sidings of historic homesteads. This exhibit of work brings into focus the point where cultural worship of nature and ancestors converge.s
The inspiration for finding and incorporating salvaged materials is an artistic process itself. Creating these works is a synthesis of reclaiming lost objects with stories of their own and then intuitively and creatively combining them into a new story going forward.
While Joseph Cornell is the ultimate muse for much of her work, Bowen found inspiration in artists Hannah Dansie, Amy Friend, Maurizio Anzeri, Lisa Kokin and Butch Anthony – all of whom have a common thread of using found portraits in their art and breathing new life into them through the interaction with the present moment.
After we fade from living memory, and our bodies become part of nature again, all that is left of us and our stories are spectres in photographs. While this exhibit frames the past, it serves to bring an inner reflection about the present and the stories we leave behind.