Sian Bowen

Siân Bowen is an artist, was formerly Professor of Fine Art at Northumbria University and is currently Professor of Drawing at Arts University Bournemouth. Bowen’s inquisitiveness in areas of knowledge beyond the field of fine art has led to in-depth visual arts practice-based research projects which engage with a variety of scientific research and expertise.

Working closely with the Science Museum, London whilst Resident Artist in Drawing at the V&A, she developed a Claude Glass based on 18th century examples – this optical devise has since played a key role in her development of video works made in the bamboo forests of Japan, the Arctic and the deciduous moist rainforests southern India. Bowen also developed an AHRC-funded project with the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam during which she travelled to the Arctic and worked with the team of a Russian Arctic meteorological research vessel. In addition, this project involved dialogue with Rijksmuseum scientists in paper conservation – more specifically, on how a series of Renaissance prints which had been discovered frozen in the Arctic as papier mâché blocks, had then been deconstructed through the use of enzymes.

As a Leverhulme Research Fellow, Bowen developed a project which explored relationships between fine art, plant science, ecology and cultural geography. This project evolved through partnerships with the Department of Plant Science, University of Oxford; taxonomists and botanists at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, and ecologists and botanists at Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary, India.

Bowen is currently Visiting Researcher and Artist-in-Residence at the Economic Botany Collection, Royal Botanic Garden, Kew (2022-25). She is working with leading ethnobotanist, Professor Mark Nesbitt, to investigate relationships between plants and culture, with particular reference to Kew’s historical Japanese collections of lacquer and paper – and related plants and artifacts.

For further information, see: sianbowen.com
Contact: sbowen@aub.ac.uk