With an interest in photography as a repository of stored memory, Cowen has appropriated images from personal, familial and historical archives. The subjects are removed from their original context, displaced and projected into a new reality in order to transform and disrupt the original perception of time and place. Deliberately open and ambiguous, landscape and figurative elements are combined with more abstract passages created through the use of poured paints and varnishes. It is a materially-driven and process-based approach to painting, the outcome not entirely known at the commencement of the journey. Inherent is a play between order and disorder, the real and the imagined, chaos and control.
The narrative in these works is populated by odd folk oscillating in an indeterminate space between here and there, traversing something ‘other’.
A strange land has emerged.