The newly redeveloped Central Goldfields Art Gallery has re-opened to the public with a major exhibition by Maryborough born and internationally renowned artist Dean Bowen.
Bowen has held over one hundred solo exhibitions in Australia, France, Japan, Switzerland and the UK and his work is represented in over seventy national and international collections.
Growing up in Maryborough, the artist’s work draws on the local environment, and is populated with a wide array of native birds and animals. It reflects his memories of his childhood and a community that strives for resilience and connection in what can at times be a harsh world.
Ladder to the Stars: Dean Bowen sculptures is the first survey of Bowen’s extensive body of sculptural works since 2008 and presents 35 sculptures from 1999 to 2022.
The exhibition is curated around subject matter drawn from everyday life exploring universal messages that will inspire audiences of all ages. The exhibition consists primarily of sculptures made in bronze and is organised around the themes of animals, children and visual expressions of hope and aspiration.
“Ladder to the Stars” is the title of one of the sculptures in the exhibition. Artist Dean Bowen said this sculpture “is a comment about human potential and the growth of imagination. The ladder is a stepping-stone to an achievement; learning a language, travelling to a foreign country, building something, raising a child. To me it’s a very optimistic sculpture.”
Curated by the Central Goldfields Art Gallery, this is the only venue for this major survey exhibition that is also accompanied by a full colour catalogue, supported by the Gordon Darling Foundation and can be purchased from the Gallery.
The Victorian Government, together with Council, invested $2.28 million to the upgrade which has seen one of the Shire’s most significant assets refurbished and extended.
Project architect Nervegna Reed have successfully merged the historic elements of a 19th century fire station with the contemporary standards for presentation of visual art to deliver an inspiring modern public gallery.
Central Goldfields Shire Mayor Cr Grace La Vella said Council was thrilled to see the Gallery re-open with the Dean Bowen exhibition whose sculptures symbolise messages of optimism and hope.
“We’re delighted the Ladder to the Stars: Dean Bowen Sculptures exhibition is our first feature exhibition for 2023. Dean Bowen was born in Maryborough and is now a renowned artist both nationally and internationally.
“The inspiring themes of hope and possibility – presented in such a warm and imaginative way makes this an extremely fitting exhibition through which to re-open the Gallery.
“Visitors to the exhibition can also view artworks from the Gallery’s permanent collection along with a celebration of local creativity showcased in the popular, annual Community Art exhibition.”
The Central Goldfields Art Gallery, located at 1 Neill Street Maryborough, is open Thursdays to Sundays from 10am to 4pm. Entry is free and all are welcome.
Ladder to the Stars: Dean Bowen Sculptures is on exhibition until Sunday, 23 April 2023.