Fridays & Friends #10 – Emily Bowser

After a break last month, I’m very happy to be back with a new Friday & Friends blog post. While writing the intro for this blog post, the old nursery rhyme about girls being made of sugar and spice comes to mind. When I entered Emily Bowser’s studio at Ox-Bow last year, I was amazed by all of the colours and materials and the boxes of different flavoured cotton candy mix she had lined up in a row! She brought her own cotton candy machine to our residency, and she’s responsible for the blue cotton candy in the video I made last year. I would walk into her studio, while she was making cotton candy, and the smell of sugar wafted in the air and sugar crystals floated everywhere. I’m very happy to introduce Emily Bowser and her work to you.


Emily Bowser – (His) SUN (Hers) SET, Bread dough, flagging tape, lattice, snow fencing, wood, 2012

Roselina Hung: How did we first meet?

Emily Bowser: We first met at this very time last year (2011) in Saugatuck, Michigan at the Ox-Bow Artist in Residency Program.

Emily Bowser – (His) SUN (Hers) SET, Bread dough, flagging tape, lattice, snow fencing, wood, 2012

RH: Tell me a bit about yourself…

EB: I grew up in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Went to Pennsylvania State University for English and Fine Arts (Sculpture), and then moved to the Midwest to pursue my MFA at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. After finishing up my graduate program in Iowa, I moved back PA where now I call Reading my home.

Emily Bowser – Circle Gets the Square, Cotton candy, silo, 2012

RH: Tell me about your work…

EB: Most of my work tends to be ephemeral and/or food related when it comes to materials. I have done previous pieces that have included: cake, icing, bird seed, bread dough and cotton candy. More recently, the bread dough and cotton candy have become the two predominant materials in my work. I love how both of those materials change over time. The bread dough rises and falls; while the cotton candy starts out as a soft, fluffy pastel cloud that transforms into hard, intensely bright colored clump. I like how each material acts as the performer of the sculpture or installation and therefore the work changes over a period time.

Emily Bowser – Circle Gets the Square, Cotton candy, silo, 2012

Some recurring themes or imagery that have crept into my work more recently have been horses. More specifically, hobby horses. The ones that come on the metal frames that you used to ride as a kid. I like the idea of placing multiple horses together in a scenario that they would never want to be found in. So, four horses balanced on the point of spinning top or six horses chasing one another in a circle. It’s just like playing with those little animal figurines when you’re a kid, but the toys are bigger than you are. It’s a fun scale shift! Similar ideas that have been swimming around in the studio have been games. I enjoy thinking about how each set of rules in a game is different, yet the same. There are always roles to be played by each player, directions to follow and some sort of outcome whether its winning or losing. I’m interested in the discreet balance of all of those aforementioned ideas.

Emily Bowser – Circle Gets the Square, Cotton candy, silo, 2012

RH: What are you currently working on?

EB: Last week, I just finished a new sculpture titled, GagReel, that indicates a good idea of where my head is at right now. I’m also looking forward to start working on some smaller pieces/installations that happen on a much more intimate kind of scale.

Emily Bowser – GagReel, Hobby horses, fabric, saw horses, foam, paint, wood, 2012

RH: Where can people find your work? Do you have any upcoming shows?

EB: My most recent piece, GagReel, can be found in the show “Make It, Break It, Rebuild It” that is currently going on during the Philly Fringe Festival, and at Crane Arts in the show titled “Landscape” – both in Philadelphia, PA.

I also have a website at www.emilybowser.webs.com, and you can find me on Facebook as well.

Emily Bowser – Glissade, Waterfall at Taliesin, flagging tape, 2012

RH: Tell me one fun fact about yourself.

EBHmm, I once ate room made entirely out of cake and icing. And I love reading the dictionary.

Emily Bowser – Circling the Drain, Hobby Horses, imitation cotton candy, canvas, paint, wood, 2012

Thank you Emily!  If you’re in Philadelphia, please check out Emily’s exhibitions. Read past Fridays & Friends posts here.

Ox-Bow Winter Benefit Art Auction

Last autumn, I spent 5 weeks at the Ox-Bow School of Art on an artist residency.  It was such a wonderful experience, in a beautiful setting where I met some amazing people and had the time and space to focus on creating art.  So when I was asked to donate a piece to their annual art auction, It Came From The Lagoon!, I was happy to support the cause – with proceeds going towards the programs and scholarships at Ox-Bow.

If you are in Chicago, I have donated a framed print for the auction, which is being held on February 24th.  The print is an 8″x11″ version of “and it’s driving me mad”, my unicorn pattern & text print that you can read more about here.

"and it's driving me mad", digital print, 8x11 in, 2011

For more information on the event and to see some of the other work that is going for auction, please visit their website.

2011 – The Year of Snow & Beaches

With 2011 drawing to a close, and 2012 on the horizon, I’d like to wish you a very Happy New Year. This past year has been a roller coaster of sorts for me, with many highs and lows and a couple of loops thrown in for good measure.  I think it would be fair to say that this has been a very full year for me, with some doors closing and others opening.  And in this one year alone, I’ve never made so many trips in my life in such a short span of time.  Planes, trains, buses, cars, ferries.  It was a year of what feels like non-stop travel.  Let’s see…we started this year off with a trip to Banff via Calgary, for a residency at The Banff Centre. The New Year, the beautiful Rocky Mountains, lots of snow, lots of art, and awesome friends.

Banff - Jan/Feb 2011

A couple of days after returning from Banff, I was off on a short business trip in Las Vegas for a couple of days.  Being in a place of so much fakery and artificiality in the middle of the desert after being in the beauty of nature in Banff was quite the shock to my system. And then I returned to a snowy Vancouver for a month or so.

Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver

Not long after, I traveled out to Montreal to see the city & visit friends…  I didn’t take too many photos….

On the train from Montreal to Toronto

And I took the train from Montreal to Toronto, the first of two visits this year. Art + Friends = The Best.

A visit to Niagara Falls

After a bit of a cold trip out east, it was nice to come back to a relatively warm Vancouver. Ahh, home.

Kits Beach, the start of summer

And it wasn’t long before I was in Honolulu, Hawaii in July for an important family reunion.  I remembered stepping off the plane and the smell of the humid air brought back a flood of memories from past family trips.

Ocean blue

And within weeks, I was flying off to Los Angeles for a much needed vacation. The first time in I don’t know how long that I didn’t check my phone or e-mail in 5 days.  Possibly one of the best vacations I’ve had.  Rest & relaxation.

Palm trees in Santa Monica

Then back to Vancouver for the summer, with a nice break to the Sunshine Coast.

A sunset on the Sunshine Coast

Before jetting off to Chicago via Edmonton and taking a bus to Saugatuck, Michigan for my Ox-Bow Residency. Beautiful woods, more art, and more friends.

Ox-Bow - October sunset reflected in the lagoon

Then back to Chicago for a few days before flying home to Vancouver.

I'm in there somewhere

And within a month, I was off to Toronto again for the Kingston Prize exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum.

I hung out with the Kingston Town Crier.

Which brings me to the present, the last day of 2011. It was quite the year, and I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store. 2011, you were a handful but I loved you. It was nice knowing you. 2012, hello, it’s nice to meet you. I have a feeling we’re going to be good friends.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

All Together Now

i am not in love / i am in love (roses) - 2011

I briefly mentioned the fabric scans and text poster images that I’ve been playing with in my last blog post. I first started playing with this idea a couple of months ago and recently have been making a few more and posting them to my Tumblr blog, which has become sort of an online sketchbook for me lately, working out and testing new ideas. It’s actually been really helpful as I’m not so precious about what I post on there so I can just have fun with it. But like all the sketchbooks that I’ve ever owned, I never use just one and I have bits and pieces all over the place, in different sketch books, notebooks, loose papers, etc. When I first started creating these text posters, which really are just sketches for an idea that I’m still developing, I was posting them here and there, basically the equivalent of multiple sketch books and loose papers, but over the Internet. So I thought perhaps it would be good to see them all in one place, as I think they read differently as a whole, or a series, than when posted as single images on my multiple blogs. So here are the ones that I’ve made so far.  The first four were made while I was at Ox-Bow, and the latter three were whipped up in this past week.

i was meant to find you (wolves) - 2011
i will always return to you (canada) - 2011
how can something so bad be so good (bears) - 2011
i still dream about you (cats) - 2011
you're always on my mind (dogs) - 2011
run away with me (horses) - 2011
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