Michael Bowdidge

© 2018 Michael Bowdidge

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Since leaving college I have used a wide range of found materials in order to explore aspects of transformation and identity. Six years ago I started to work with computers. This use of 'visual sampling technology' has always seemed like a natural progression from my previous practice. Each print originates from a digital photograph (or sometimes from a combination of several) which is then heavily manipulated using imaging software until it begins to lose its original identity and starts to become something new.

This process of improvised abstraction often leads me back to images which contain suggestions of pictorial space which were not present in the original. The finished piece represents an intuitive attempt to capture, distil and make explicit some aspect of place or experience in an image which still remains mysterious. I am trying to make work which simultaneously invites and confounds the viewer. In order to do this I am searching for a visual language which is both accessible and yet capable of subtlety and depth.

The quest for ‘presence’ is also of great importance to me, though I find it very difficult to say exactly what this quality entails. I only know that it is either there or it is not. Trying to understand this phenomenon is one of the driving forces behind my artistic practice.

Working exclusively from my own photographs for the past eighteen months has led me to a growing awareness of the underlying themes of my art. I am inspired by the post -industrial area in which I live (the Lea Valley in London and in particular the canal on which my boat is moored) and find the imagery which surrounds me strangely resonant. The grass grows, water flows and machines rust.

In these things I find myself.

Studios of Michael Bowdidge

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