Siân Bowen and Nova Zembla

Suspending the Ephemeral

This special edition contextualizes the new body of drawings, artist books and video works made by Siân Bowen over a two-year period working as Guest Artist in Drawing at Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

The Nova Zembla collection of prints, which were carried as merchandise on Willem Barents’ expedition seeking a northern route to China in 1596, had lain frozen, transformed to papier-mâché blocks, in the Arctic for nearly three centuries.

Reconstructed from hundreds of fragments by the Rijksmuseum, the prints provided opportunities for Bowen to develop work which explores the materiality of drawing and the ephemeral nature of museum objects on paper.

Through artworks, accompanying essays, documentary photographs, video stills and texts by the artist, this book traces Bowen’s own ‘journey through the project, emphasizing the tactile qualities of her artworks which at the same time employ light, transparency, perforation, reflection and fragility, and consolidate the often fugitive nature of the materials used in their making.

Download PDF title sheet

  • Artists Sian Bowen
  • Authors Wim Pijbes, Jan de Hond, Joel Fisher, Chris Dorsett, JanPhilipp Fruehsorge
  • Editors Siân Bowen
  • Publisher Research Group for Artists Publications (RGAP)
  • ISBN 9780956902405
  • Format hardback
  • Pages 150
  • Illustrations illustrated in colour
  • Dimensions 190mm x 240mm
  • Weight 781g
  • Publication Date 7 Feb 2012

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