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roswell artist-in-residence program
& the
 roswell museum and art center

present in the Marshall Gallery

Natasha Bowdoin

April 12-June 2, 2013



Garden Plot
site-specific installation, gouache, acrylic and pencil on cut paper and latex acrylic on wall, 10’ x 28’ x 1’, 2013

"The opportunity for language and literature to be experienced apart from our ingrained expectations is an idea I would like to recover in my work. I see myself as a scribe of sorts, though an unorthodox one, freeing language from its traditional systems of description and classification. I create paper constructions and installations that incorporate layered and interwoven transcriptions from a variety of literary sources. I use writing to make pictures of words, breaking apart and reconfiguring these iconic texts into free flowing rhythms, allowing new stories and secret meanings to form as the original texts fracture. Language is an organic material to me. I allow these works to grow instinctually in efforts to gain a new understanding of the unpredictable presence words might manifest. 
My current exhibition at the RMAC is a celebration of the natural world, in all its wonder and vibrance, and the authors who recognized so beautifully what it has to offer. Using various texts that champion nature - from Emerson's 1836 essay Nature to 1960s beat poet Gary Snyder's The Back Country collection - I have created my own version of flora and fauna to inhabit the RMAC. Garden Plot, a new site-specific installation composed of wall painting and cut paper, transforms the space from gallery to garden. This ever-changing arrangement of drawn and painted transcriptions will live on to be assembled into new formations with every new environment it comes to grow in. This constant dissolution and reformation of the drawings allows the piece to transform over time, resisting any one fixed state.
The remaining works in thornappleflower (a turn of phrase taken from Gary Snyder's poem For Plants) represent two smaller series I developed while here in Roswell.  The Book of Nature series of works on paper - transcriptions of Emerson's text - draw from the concept of the "Book of Nature."  This school of thought, dating back to late antiquity, declared "nature" a most elegant book.  If read and observed properly, the book would reveal the intentions of its author(s) to the reader. The Flowers for Henry series is an homage to nature as well, but also to an artist of great influence to me, Henry Darger.  Darger (1892-1973), one of the most significant self-taught artists of the 20th century, was a reclusive artist and writer who worked behind the closed doors of his Chicago apartment to create a truly vast and fantastical world.  Using portions of Darger's autobiographical text and flower patterns taken from Darger's own watercolors, I have created a series of blooms in his honor."
Natasha Bowdoin, 2013


Garden Plot, (detail)
photos by Kelly Berrones


Of the Garden
gouache, ink, and pencil on cut paper, 28"x28"x4", 2013


Untitled 2 (Book of Nature)

gouache and ink on paper, 37"x57", 2013



Photo: S. Fleming



© 2005 Roswell Artist-in-Residence Foundation. For Personal or Educational Use Only. All rights reserved. All images are the property of the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Foundation and may not be reproduced without expressed written permission.