Doug Bowen

Open Source 2016, May 28 – 29

27 May 2016

Open Source 2016 contemporary art festival is on at Londons’ Gillett Square in Dalston, running May 28 to 29.

The free weekend event and artist-run initiative brings together the art world private view into the public space with a series of screenings, live performances and installations from the likes of Larry Achiampong, Cory Arcangel, Benedict Drew, Joey Holder, Hannah Black, and Rachel Maclean, among others.

Organised by Emily Butler, Christine Eyene, Helen Nisbet, Joe Fletcher Orr & Doug Bowen, Richard H M Parry and Amy Sherlock, the theme this year follows “subcultures, identity, fluidity and self-determination” and will also include an immersive video game, ice cream, drones, VJ and DJ sets, street posters, experimental hair salon, and more.

See the Open Source website for details.**

Larry Achiampong performing at All Of Us Have A Sense Of Rhythm: An Evening of Live Music at DRAF, 2015. Photo: Dan Weill
Larry Achiampong @ All Of Us Have A Sense Of Rhythm: An Evening of Live Music (2015). Performance view. Photo by Dan Weill. Courtesy DRAF, London.
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Doug Bowen, Down in the Dumps (2015) exhibition photos

4 February 2016

Depression might not be the first thing you think while surveying the images from Down in the Dumps, a solo exhibition by Doug Bowen that ran at Liverpool’s Cactus Gallery from August 15 to September 13, 2015. 

The Leeds-based artist who recently joined the Leeds Weirdo Club as its newest member takes a big step out of his comedic comfort zone for Down in the Dumps, using a more subtle approach to fine-tune a refined approach to the soft edges of depression.


Doug Bowen, Tuxed up (2015) Install view. Courtesy Cactus.
Doug Bowen, The Official Squad Medal Collection 2015 (Collector’s edition) #1 – #24 (2015) Install view. Courtesy Cactus.


Four works spread themselves throughout the exhibition on the walls. All are digital vinyl prints and, Bowen informs us, are painted over again and again with layers of opaque grey removable ink. What is seen peering through are unspecified pieces of marks falling apart and fractions of a saddened face staring towards the viewer. On another wall, pink bubbles overlap one another in the top right of their aluminium frame, dissipating eventually into greyness. Cactus received the prints ‘blank’, ready to be scratched off by the curator, leaving the artist seemingly as curious as the viewer as to when and why the curator stopped scraping. It’s certainly a lovely process to imagine, as satisfying as a scratch card but without disappointment.

On the third wall rests ‘The Official Squad Medal Collection 2015 (Collector’s edition) #1 – #24’, holding what could on first glance, tidy rows of white painted pills. They are melted down pieces of aluminium, hand-made medals, each dabbed and made individual with Tipp-Ex. They echo sweetly and are the inverse of the four originally uniform vinyl prints, scratched down to become up. **

Exhibition photos, top right.

Doug Bowen’s Down in the Dumps was on at Liverpool’s Cactus from August 14 to September 13, 2015.

Header image: Doug Bowen, Tuxed up (2015) Install view. Courtesy Cactus.

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Doug Bowen @ Cactus, Aug 14 – Sep 13

14 August 2015

Cactus is hosting the latest solo exhibition from artist Doug Bowen, titled Down in the Dumps and running at the Liverpool location from August 15 until September 13, with a private viewing on August 14.

Bowen, born in York and now living in Leeds, works in a variety of media, employing a kind of ‘case by case’ aesthetic with a variety of techniques for which ideas are the primary and aesthetics the secondary component. In his interview with Young Artists in Conversation (YAC), Bowen states: “They are made of the certain materials and look that particular way so they convey the idea.”

Previous shows include You think the only people who are people… at Two Queens, Cheese at Toast, £1 FISH at S1 Artspace, ex at blip blip blip, and COMBINE #6 at Model, and previous residencies include those at The Hepworth WakefieldBloc ProjectsThe Good Hatchery, SPUR, and Desktop Residency.

See the Cactus website for details. **

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Leeds Weirdo Club Annual 2014, May 6

6 May 2015

The Leeds Weirdo Club studio is launching a new publication titled Leeds Weirdo Club Annual 2014 at their Leeds location today, May 6.

As the working studio of artists Doug BowenMatthew Crawley, Harry Meadley (whom we previously reviewed here) and David Steans—was founded by the latter three in 2012, and engenders a collaboration amongst the four artists’ solo practices. 

Today, the three founders launch a new 200-plus-page publication, available for purchase at £20. The launch will feature special guest Gently Used, as well as free drinks.

See the event page for details. **

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