Word as Image: Sandra Bowden

Bowden-Resurrection Book copy for SC

Sandra Bowden, Resurrection Book, 2015, 5-1/4 n X 11-1/2 in, Book, collagraph, gold leaf.


You might recall the Sandra Bowden Collection of works on cardboard by Rudolph Bostic presented by Art Space Vincennes in April. We still have a few of his pieces for visitors to consider as possible gifts this Christmas season. However, on First Friday Art Walks both November and December, we are featuring Sandra Bowden’s own work, in a show called Word as Image in the spirit of Christmas and Hanukkah.


In the prologue to the New Testament Book of St. John we see the unveiling of a great mystery, a paradoxical precept embedded throughout the centuries of revelations given to Old Testament prophets: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God…And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.


The artwork of Sandra Bowden seeks to function, both for the artist and the audience, as a bridge between two worlds. In her tangible images and objects we find a veiled glimpse of the intangible realm of spirit.


The mystery of the word as a vehicle of communication between matter and spirit and across generations has been an important ongoing component of Bowden’s personal iconography. She incorporates Biblical archaeological references and ancient Hebrew text, presenting segments of language and text as design within her images. Thus her art offers a complex meditation on time and the power of object as metaphor, centering both literally and figuratively in word.


Bowden’s works are simple, yet rich in implications, elegant, reductive, carefully avoiding the sensational or sentimental. This exhibition focuses on ways Bowden celebrates the Word through selections from her Text Series, Collage Series, Crucifixion pieces and artist’s books. The latter present text in a three-dimensional format using an actual book as the painting surface.


For 14 years Bowden served as President of CIVA – Christians in the Visual Arts, an international non-profit organization committed to the perpetuation and cultural impact of contemporary Christian artists through encouraging their original work. She has been a proactive ambassador reaching out on a myriad of fronts, seeking ways to serve the Christian community and her fellow artists.


Sandra and her husband, Robert, live in Chatham, MA and are active art collectors with selective and significant holdings in the great Christian visual art tradition of the present and past centuries. In 2005 Square Halo Books published The Art of Sandra Bowden. For more information on her work, go to www.SandraBowden.com

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