Artist Statement

I make sculptures of prehistoric animals that represent the wonder to be found in natural history. I am intrigued by animals that evolved with distinct features, such as unfamiliar tusks, strange elongated limbs, and unusual proportions. I use clay to bring these extinct creatures back to life, sculpting folds of flesh and filling their bellies with air.

The picturesque aesthetic of the eighteenth century refers to a time when our relationship to nature was being expanded by scientific discoveries, yet separated by the disappearance of wild places. Each scene is a fantasy that inspires curiosity about the unknown animal, while nourishing the imagination of the viewer with intricate details. Mysterious giants wander through palatial ruins, discovering the overgrown remains of monuments to human greatness. Moss and vines cover the fossils of civilization, and show the effects of time in their decay.

My work uses reflective nostalgia to present the animals in my own fantasy of an imagined place and time. The unexpected combination of such contrasting timelines questions reality, and rekindles a childlike fascination with the natural world. My sculptures are the scale of toys and stuffed animals that are reminiscent of my own childhood. The element of humor and irony in each interaction is a playful approach to animal intelligence, and mirrors the joy that I find in learning about them.

4 Responses to Artist Statement

  1. Jean Atwell says:

    My husband saw your work at the student sale last weekend. We especially like your
    rabbits. Are any of them for sale? Jean

    • arielbowman says:

      I am sorry Jean, I no longer have any of those pieces for sale. However, I will soon be setting up a small business online for my smaller animal sculptures. There will be more rabbits along with many other animals. I will be sure to keep information about this posted on my website here. Thanks for your interest!

  2. karma4karma says:

    You have great talent and bring to life (in clay) what I enjoy doing on paper šŸ™‚ I really enjoy your creations and look forward to many more.

  3. Lesley says:

    Really enjoyed reading your journey thus far in art and seeing images of your work. Wish I could take a workshop!

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