Vanna Bowles belongs to a generation of highly talented drawers, presenting art that both fascinates and enchants. Viewing one of her works makes you wonder whether you look upon a drawing or the real thing, as these hands (Thank You, 2016) made by plaster and then drawn upon.
Bowles finds inspiration for her work in medicine, botany and zoology. Her pictorial world is made of people, often in fragile situations, in combination with fragment of plants, flowers, birds and insects.
Vanna Bowles has experimented with three-dimensional hyper-realistic drawings for years, and has developed an exquisite technique and a unique artistic language. The sculptural shapes in her pictures are utterly lifelike, both realistic, poetic and fragile. Her drawings offer an intimate look at the human body, often in dreamlike, surreal situations. Her characters holds a strange beauty, where transience and vulnerability – but also the ability to survive – runs as an unspoken power. Attached to a hand or close to the heart, sculptural elements of flowers or branches in paper maché leave the flat sheet, extending into the outer room. The transition between drawing and sculpture is subtle and blurs the border between the motive and the space outside of the frame, the viewer and the portrayed.
After a few decades of decline, signs show that drawings have resurfaced as an important part of the art scene. In this perspective Bowles represents a strong genre: Norwegian drawers occupies a special position internationally. Sunderø Art Gallery supports this trend, our main focus being photography, drawings and objects.
The artist was educated at the Art Academy in Oslo and University of the Arts in Berlin, and has since 2001 had an active artistic praxis both in Norway and internationally.