Max Bowden

Max Bowden

Artist Profile

Biography

Darwin-based artist Max Bowden paints heart-felt depictions of the Top End landscape, providing tangible insights into nature’s power in north Australian climates. Her paintings capture the dramatic atmosphere and moods that only the tropical north provides. Not only a depiction of her literal surroundings, Bowden draws upon the landscape as a motif to untangle the idiosyncrasies of human life and the habits of others. For Bowden, painting is a tool to understand and capture the emotional climate of her environment.

In her forthcoming exhibition at James Makin Gallery, Bowden introduces intimate interior scenes to her vocabulary of landscape and suburban scenes. This introduction is a step further inward to the artist’s articulation of emotion and place, seeing Bowden capture moments within her own home. Despite their direct, personal link to the artist, these scenes have an apparent universal domesticity to them, drawing viewers to consider, along with the landscape and the suburbs, their internal environment as a potent field of emotional metaphor.

Important to Bowden’s work is the visible presence of underpainting – in many works, this is prominent, glowing bright blue around the canvas’ edge, or in small moments upon it. For Bowden, this is an important aspect when capturing the emotional barometer of her landscapes. What the artist sees and experiences is only one reading in a moment in time, there is always something happening underneath and around it. What one sees as essential is not a definitive reading, it floats atop a vast and moving realm of experience. There is a shifting pendulum of experience: what you think you know, what actually is, and how your assumptions can impact perception. To Bowden, there is no set reality – it is a malleable surface, layered and shifting.

Max Bowden was born in Melbourne, Australia, and now lives and works in Darwin. She studied visual arts at the Central School of Art in Adelaide, receiving the school’s first scholarship. Bowden holds a Bachelor of Visual arts from Charles Darwin University and a Postgraduate Degree in Psychology. In 2022 Bowden was named a finalist in Hadley’s Art Prize. Her forthcoming exhibition, Pedulum, at James Makin Gallery is the artist’s second major solo exhibition with the gallery, following a debut sell-out showing.

Darwin-based artist Max Bowden paints heart-felt depictions of the Top End landscape, providing tangible insights into nature’s power in north Australian climates. Her paintings capture the dramatic atmosphere and moods that only the tropical north provides. Not only a depiction of her literal surroundings, Bowden draws upon the landscape as a motif to untangle the idiosyncrasies of human life and the habits of others. For Bowden, painting is a tool to understand and capture the emotional climate of her environment.

In her forthcoming exhibition at James Makin Gallery, Bowden introduces intimate interior scenes to her vocabulary of landscape and suburban scenes. This introduction is a step further inward to the artist’s articulation of emotion and place, seeing Bowden capture moments within her own home. Despite their direct, personal link to the artist, these scenes have an apparent universal domesticity to them, drawing viewers to consider, along with the landscape and the suburbs, their internal environment as a potent field of emotional metaphor.

Important to Bowden’s work is the visible presence of underpainting – in many works, this is prominent, glowing bright blue around the canvas’ edge, or in small moments upon it. For Bowden, this is an important aspect when capturing the emotional barometer of her landscapes. What the artist sees and experiences is only one reading in a moment in time, there is always something happening underneath and around it. What one sees as essential is not a definitive reading, it floats atop a vast and moving realm of experience. There is a shifting pendulum of experience: what you think you know, what actually is, and how your assumptions can impact perception. To Bowden, there is no set reality – it is a malleable surface, layered and shifting.

Max Bowden was born in Melbourne, Australia, and now lives and works in Darwin. She studied visual arts at the Central School of Art in Adelaide, receiving the school’s first scholarship. Bowden holds a Bachelor of Visual arts from Charles Darwin University and a Postgraduate Degree in Psychology. In 2022 Bowden was named a finalist in Hadley’s Art Prize. Her forthcoming exhibition, Pedulum, at James Makin Gallery is the artist’s second major solo exhibition with the gallery, following a debut sell-out showing.

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2021 Habits, James Makin Gallery – Melbourne
2020 What Was Supposed to Happen, Paul Johnstone Gallery – Darwin
2005 Bookends, Solo show, Wood Street Gallery (DVAA) – Darwin
2002 ‘ME’ Carclew Art Space, Solo Exhibition – Adelaide

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2022 Hadley’s Art Prize, Hadley’s Orient Hotel – Hobart
2022 Summer New, James Makin Gallery – Melbourne
2022 Monochrome, Mitchell Fine Art – Brisbane
2021 Monsoon, Paul Johnstone Art Gallery – Darwin
2021 Twenty, Mitchell Fine Art – Brisbane
2020 Paul Johnstone Art Gallery – Darwin
2019 Rick Amor National Portrait Prize – Melbourne
2019 WAGS Art Prize – Darwin
2019 Don Whyte ‘Off Cuts’ – Darwin
2019 Territory Wildlife Park – Threatened species – Darwin
2018 Katherine Art Prize – Katherine
2018 Don Whyte ‘Off Cuts’ – Darwin
2013 WAGS Art Exhibition – Darwin
2005 Blind Date, Wood Street Gallery (DVAA) – Darwin
2005 Cooperblack, Darwin Festival – Darwin
2005 UNI38 Graduate Art Exhibition, Charles Darwin University – Darwin
2004 Raw, Wood Street Gallery (DVAA) – Darwin
2003 ‘Ramp’ 24 HR Art Gallery (members show) – Darwin
2002 Fringe 2002 ‘Open Sandwich’ – Adelaide
2001 SALA ‘conversations 9 by 5’ – Adelaide
2001 Whyalla Art Prize ‘Onesteel Young SA Artists Award’ – Whyalla
2000 Fringe 2000 ‘Melisma’ – Adelaide

AWARDS/GRANTS/RESIDENCIES
2022 Winner Hadley’s Art Prize Residency
2019 Finalist Rick Amor National Portrait Prize
2019 First Prize WAGS Art Exhibition
2019 Artist in Residence, Territory Wildlife Park
2013 First Prize WAGS Art Exhibition
2007 High Commendation. 24HR Art Graduate Art Award, Darwin
2007 Raft Gallery Award, Graduate Art Exhibition, CDU
2001 First Prize Whyalla Art Prize, Young SA Artist’s Award,
1995 Scholarship – Adelaide Central School of Art,
(under Rod Taylor, Anna Platten and Christopher Orchard)
Studio Residency: Carclew Youth Arts Centre, Adelaide

ARTWORKS

  • Forgetting the LowsMax Bowden Forgetting the Lows 2021 Oil on canvas 40 x 31 cm

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  • October HighMax Bowden October High 2021 Oil on canvas 40 x 31 cm

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  • Above Rapid TideMax Bowden Above Rapid Tide 2021 oil on canvas panel 41 x 31cm

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  • Late BurnMax Bowden Late Burn 2021 Oil on canvas 50 x 40cm

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  • Kings CanyonMax Bowden Kings Canyon 2021 Oil on canvas 30.5 x 31cm

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  • That Yellow CarMax Bowden That Yellow Car 2021 Oil on canvas 29.5 x 40cm

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  • Tides of GoldMax Bowden Tides of Gold 2021 Oil on canvas 30.5 x 41cm

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  • Bagot RoadMax Bowden Bagot Road 2021 Oil on canvas 25.5 x 25.5cm

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  • RollingMax Bowden Rolling 2021 Oil on canvas 25.5 x 25.5cm

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  • Sitting on a Rapid Creek BridgeMax Bowden Sitting on a Rapid Creek Bridge 2021 Oil on canvas 40.5 x 30.5cm

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  • Watching Channel 10Max Bowden Watching Channel 10 2021 Oil on canvas 30.5 x 40.5cm

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  • Kathleen SpringsMax Bowden Kathleen Springs 2021 Oil on canvas 30.5 x 30.5cm

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Artist Name

Artwork Title

Year

Medium

Size

Price