Day Bowman

In my current body of work I find that the large-scale canvases echo the marks, lines and shapes that we made in the wet, grey sand of my home-town beach: thus the canvas becomes the beach that acted as the large- scale canvas of my child-hood.

In these works I have allowed myself to move freely from one work to another with a sense of play and random mark-making. Through the use of colour, of scribbled lines and drip marks, contrasting with the blocks of background painted areas, I have attempted to capture the tides and the occasional gleam of sunshine. In fact the most recent works reference the humble lugworm that we were fascinated by as children. The title of works ‘Plashy Place’ comes from a line of poetry by W.B.Yeats from his poem: The Man who Dreamt of Fairyland. 

Growing up in a small, West-Country seaside town it is not surprising that much of my work has referenced the sea, the beach and littoral and, from an early age, I was acutely aware of the life of the seasons with the tsunami of summer visitors followed by the closed-up, out-of-season, winter months. 

Along with scratched childhood messages to the gods, our childhood castles in the sand were built to keep out the marauding tidal waters; today these fortress images represent something more sinister referencing an incoming tide of bigotry and intolerance. And whilst these are not overtly political works I find within them a questioning on the notion of place, identity and belonging.

In the past twelve months Day Bowman’s work has gained first prize in the Anima Mundi International Painting Prize and exhibited at the Venice Biennale 2019; this was quickly followed by being awarded first prize in the Bath Arts Open 2019 and most recently she has been awarded first prize for the inaugural Wales Contemporary. 

Tearing up the Rule Book, a solo exhibition addressing current issues on migration and identity through the lens of childhood beach play, successfully completed its tour at the Atelier Melusine France. Artlyst has recently given coverage of this touring exhibition. 

In 2012 she was commissioned to produce a series of giant hoardings for the Olympic Sailing and Paralympic Sailing events. Her work is held in numerous public collections worldwide including Hilton Hotel Group; British Dental Association; Dorset County Hospital, St. Vincent and Grenadines Govt. Art Collection

artist’s website