Author: Gavin Bowyer Fine Art : Portraiture : Design Illustration
Originally a press photographer then an Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) at Biddulph High School - winning the Dyson Design & Technology Teacher of the Year, 2006 - but I gave it up to pursue my passion for art. I naturally gravitate to ordinary people finding themselves in extraordinary circumstances or vice versa, everyday social interactions, portraiture, wildlife or pets.
For more than three decades drawing and photography have played an integral part in my creative practice. During a commission a sketch or hazy photograph maybe the only source material to work from. Whatever artwork I'm constructing really matters and brings pleasure, enjoyment and fulfilment to me. When I'm working, I have a deep level of attachment to the work. and its my passion that makes the real difference. Much of the pleasure is in the process.
You may hear it said that colour is everything, but I say black and white is more. In a world where colour reigns, I love to capture important moments for people, their pets and cherished wildlife with my distinctive black and white figurative imagery. A classic black and white artwork in the home gives the observer's eye a place to rest. Picasso claimed that 'colour weakens' the viewing experience. He believed that black and white paintings and drawings allow you to concentrate on elements such as composition, value, lighting and form. The benefit of black and white is that you can focus on the image as a whole.
A unique or custom, handmade piece created for you will break from saturated colour and enhance a your home from all other elements. Colour maybe everything but black and white is more! Make an impression and stand out from the crowd. Classic black and white art by artist, Gavin Bowyer.
We are pleased to welcome visitors to The Pastel Society’s 122nd Annual Exhibition, giving you the chance to see, in person, some of the works you admired online only at the start of the year while in lockdown, alongside a selection of new works.
Featuring works created in pastel, pencil, chalk and charcoal, The Pastel Society is recognised as foremost in its field, a magnet for brilliant exponents of dry media.
Artists use the medium for its vibrant colour, vitality and immediacy. Visitors can be confident of seeing a variety of approaches by leading contemporary artists as well as new talent.
To ensure visitor safety during these COVID times, the gallery has been redesigned with a one-way system and timed tickets can be booked in advance to help maintain social distancing, hand sanitising points are available and visitors are required to wear a face covering (unless medically exempt). Book your timed ticket now
I can’t explain how exciting this feels. Anyway, this summer if you’re lucky to be passing #mallgalleries London this sunny July, why not pop in and check out the #societyofgraphicfineart and #pastelsociety annual exhibitions. There are incredible artists on show and feel very proud my work will be there amongst them. If permitted, why not take a selfie next to my work and let me your thoughts about the show
140 hours of drawing labour concludes my epic adventure with Alvin Kofi. Now he wants to draw me.
The short promotional extended video showcases the drawing stages of my new pencil portrait titled, ‘Portrait Artist, Alvin Kofi’. It’s a 50 x 50 cm pencil drawing which illustrates him in deep contemplation. He is backed by selected images from his portrait work. The work began with email contact with Alvin on 11 January, was concluded after 34 studio sessions and 140 hours at the drawing board, on 16th March 2021. I hope you like it and the cool groove that accompanies it.
Thank you to the incredibly talented portrait artist, Alvin Kofi. Alvin is a portrait artist who I hugely admire. I reached out to Alvin after he deservedly made it to the final of Sky Arts 2020 Portrait Artist of the Year. To my amazement he agreed to take a chance on me and permitted me to complete this extremely challenging work.
We’ve been in regular contact via Instagram in which I posted updates of the portrait progress and throughout Alvin has been active in posting supportive and encouraging comments.
I was relieved to complete the portrait 16/03/21 and promptly contacted Alvin when I was done with collating photos and editing the video. As per usual, Alvin’s response was prompt and generous, “I don’t know what to say Gavin, that’s excellent work and thank you for the video (see above). The detail is extraordinary…”
Through his work Alvin Kofi seeks to enquire, learn and celebrate the traditional notions of African culture. Although a second-generation West Indian who grew up in London, his creative perspective is very much African-centered. “The genius of African art, especially its use of iconography, is how it allows us to understand nature and our relationship to it,” says Kofi. “I feel the African-centered viewpoint has been dismissed, almost lost, and needs to be brought back to prominence – not just in the world of art but also in our debates around philosophy, spirituality and our relationship to our environment.
Ten years ago, one of the most powerful earthquakes on record triggered a devastating tsunami in Japan, killing more than 18,000 people and triggering catastrophic meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. This is my portrait of Tamiko Sako, a survivor of that disaster.
‘Gambaru -11.03.11’ by Gavin Bowyer
Gambaru (頑張るstand firm), is a ubiquitous Japanese word which roughly means to slog on tenaciously through tough times. The word Gambaru is often translated to mean “doing one’s best”, but in practice, it means doing more than one’s best.
Fell in love ❤️ with ‘Tamiko’ the minute I saw her ‘thank you’ Gavin Bowyer for allowing me to fully appreciate her. Wendyanne Shapiro