Artefacts of the Future
10 Apr – 05 May 2018
Within Jen Bowmast’s art practice, encounters with clairvoyants are catalysts for intuitive making with bronze, craft materials, and ceramics. These artefacts become transitional objects between one place and another reflecting the moment of exchange between artist and reader during esoteric research.
Jen Bowmast lives in Motueka, New Zealand, and recently graduated from Canterbury University with an MFA (distinction). She was a finalist in the Arte Laguna prize 2017, exhibiting in Venice, and merit award winner in The National Contemporary Award and Wallace Awards in 2016. In 2018 Jen will be part of a group show at Ramp Gallery, a performance project at Gallery 306, Tokyo, and attend the contemporary summer school at The Royal College of Art in London.
“…A felt world of unseen presences, inaudible messages, and omniscient guidance is a curious notion. There are those amongst us offering themselves as conduits to glimpse behind the veil. My encounters with psychics, clairvoyants, soothsayers, and oracles has offered fruitful ground for art making. I am using these ancient tools to aid my metaphysical navigation. The research ultimately transformed my position from querent, to participant, to mystic. Learning to walk in the dark.
Sometimes my sage and ritualistic encounters were immediate catalysts for making. Other times objects materialised from layers of conversation, with shapes and lives of their own. My sculptural investigations into purity of form were transcended by an embodiment of spirit. Staring back at me, emanating a question rather than an answer, self-propelled divinatory alternators.
Ruminating on the invisible and intangible was futile. Truth-hunting was dead. Incantation has drawn from materials both physical and arcane: the listening clay with its willingness to be transformed, bronze with its sculptural heritage and the scrying, reflective light of perspex. The blackest black travelled in sacred vials from far-off lands. Clandestine conversations dancing with the time stream. Other makers’ hands raising the frequency. Yes, chasing the divine through materiality.
Artefacts of the Future, presented in the main gallery, began with a reading from Ōtautahi medium, Jayne-Rewa. This message was about the moment where light and dark exchange, the black nothingness and all that is. The clay objects embody both the idea of the described space and the gallery. Fired with nano particles never to be touched by hands, slipping between two worlds, here and somewhere else. Light coming from the dark. This is the all that is”.
Jen Bowmast, 2018