bloc projects


Doug Bowen – Stuff

Friday 08 August 2014

Exhibition | 9 – 23 August 2014 | Weds – Sat | 12 – 6pm

Bloc Projects are pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by Leeds based artist Doug Bowen following a four week residency as part of their graduate programme.

Stimulated by queries and investigations, Bowen’s playful, conceptual practice brings together performance, photography, curating, drawing, sculpture and appropriated objects. Often placed in close proximity, his works interfere with one another and at times become indistinct. Pre-occupied with cultural artefacts and ephemera, the artist dissects, rebuilds and reconfigures cultural materials, challenging the assumptions and associations that may surround them. As a self proclaimed online collector and appropriator of two-dimensional curiosities, which he sometimes translates into three-dimensional form, Bowen is interested in highlighting the messy contingencies and conflicts of a virtual existence that is so prominent in everyday life.

For the exhibition Stuff, Bowen has produced a series of works that respond to his current situation working in the gallery – both a space to create and to present – and consider its form, the materiality of its construction and its expectant emptiness. These include the sculptural diptych YOU CAN C ME / YOU CAN’T C ME, which aims to toy with the viewer’s perception, creating an illusion through a pair of almost identical perspex boxes, and [””’], which forms the first of another pair of works created in relation to one another. Involving a set of discrete holes drilled around the whole perimeter of the room, the residue from this action of creating [””’] causes the consequential work,  [,,,,,]. Generated only from the material of the gallery walls, the brick dust creates a trail upon the surface of the floor that appears in unison with its mothering row of indents. Bowen’s work *silence* draws from tumbleweed as an object he perceives as creating an ironic representation of nothing, and came about through tha artist’s reflection on a sense of pressure to create visual signifiers in order to define a space and give substance to an area where nothing exists.

During the residency, Bowen has attempted to unpin and re-pin his practice in a process of condensed experimentation. Using the intense period of the residency to challenge his way of working, he has substituted timely reflection and planning towards what are often very specific outcomes for an instinctive approach, involving immediate creations and an impulsive consideration of the space.

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Doug Bowen (b. 1992, York) works in Leeds, UK and graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University in 2014. Selected exhibitions include: PLINY, The Golden Fleece, York 2012; Interim, blip blip blip, Leeds, Best, Malgras|Naudet, Manchester, 2013; XX, Desktop Residency, (online); Appropriation, SPUR & Village Bookstore at 17th International Contemporary Artists Book Fair in The Tetley, Leeds and I DUNNO SHIT, Cactus Gallery at Rogue Project Space, Manchester, all 2014.


All photography: Julian Lister