Allison Bowman Creates Sacred Spaces for Refuge and Personal Growth

Allison Bowman Creates Sacred Spaces for Refuge and Personal Growth

Allison Bowman views painting as a process of letting go. As a child, the Kansas-based artist wandered through the Konza Prairie discovering various species of plants. The forms she encountered in nature inspired her to create ‘sacred spaces’ as a means of coping with depression later in life. Bowman creates abstracted environments with deep pockets of shadow and light that offer refuge, solace, and escape. She recently started painting on a larger scale, creating rich primordial landscapes that reflect her complex inner world.

Not Real Art Artist Of The Day Series

After being diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder, undergoing therapy, and spending years in art school, Bowman has learned to accept herself as someone who feels emotions deeply. She is acutely aware of the challenges faced by young people today. By creating sheltering botanical oases that reflect her battles with darkness and recovery, she combines personal experience with her skills as an artist to help others find their way out.

These sacred spaces are manifestations of my journey to the afterlife. Depression and thoughts of suicide are a constant psychological battle. By creating these environments, I have allowed myself to explore spaces of escape; mental and physical. My work persuades myself and my viewers to self-reflect in a time of isolation. We must find out way through the dark foreground to get to the light, much like daily life.

Bowman earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from Kansas State University and lives on the outskirts of Kansas City. She works for the local arts council and teaches painting at an arts and heritage center. In 2021, her Sacred Spaces project was installed at Lakeside Nature Center to celebrate the beauty of nature and help people cope with the stress of pandemic isolation. By sharing her inner struggles and taking refuge in the landscape, Bowman inspires others to find solace and joy in the healing powers of nature and art.

Table of Contents

Allison Bowman — Artist Statement

Allison Bowman. Seated Portrait
Alison Bowman

My multi-layered and elaborate compositions create imagined environments using abstracted botanical forms. The improvisational quality of my painting stems from responses to organic compounds found in nature. These forms are derived from overgrown, uncultivated areas of the forest floor. Gestural shapes and lush color promote analysis over time in these richly dense compositions.

These sacred spaces are manifestations of my journey to the afterlife. Depression and thoughts of suicide are a constant psychological battle. By creating these environments, I have allowed myself to explore spaces of escape; mental and physical. My work persuades myself and my viewers to self-reflect in a time of isolation. We must find out way through the dark foreground to get to the light, much like daily life.

I let the media lead, and then allow response. As I paint, I make conscious and subconscious decisions on how to proceed with my layers; almost like terraforming. Painting is a process of letting go and escaping. These spaces become sacred because of their intimacy. Each mark and layer of color is a reaction to the world around me. Adding, subtracting, covering, revealing… the process is one of discovery. These imagined worlds speak to the journey of their own making and to the power and mystery of nature.

Allison Bowman – Grant Submission Work

Allison Bowman. Nature Imbued
Nature Imbued
Acrylic on canvas
48 x 36 inches
Allison Bowman. Provenance
Provenance
Oil on canvas
60 x 48 inches
Allison Bowman. Spectrum
Spectrum
Acrylic on canvas
48 x 36 inches
Allison Bowman. Vita
Vita
Acrylic on canvas
36 x 24 inches
Alison Bowman. Emergence
Emergence
Oil on canvas
36 x 24 inches

Allison Bowman – Artist Bio

Allison Bowman is an acrylic and oil painter who focuses on abstracted botanical environments. As a Kansas native Bowman grew up surrounded by the Flint Hills. From when she was a child, she remembers walking through the Konza Prairie discovering different species of plants. The natural forms made by native prairie life are what initially inspired her abstract compositions. Recently Bowman has been painting on a larger scale and entering into the world of murals.

After graduating from Kansas State University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art she moved with her husband to the Kansas City area. Bowman currently works as the Administrative Assistant for the Arts Council of Johnson County, serves as one of two of the State Captains of Kansas for Arts Advocacy at the national level through Americans For The Arts, and teaches art classes at the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center in Overland Park, Kansas. She was recently chosen as a 2020- 2021 Artist INC Advance Fellow where she began working on her current project, Sacred Spaces |Cultivating Hope. This project is a large-scale painting that will be installed at the Lakeside Nature Center in July of 2021 to advocate for mental health through the healing powers of art and nature.

Allison Bowman on the Web And Social Media

Here is where to find out more about Allison on the web and social media:

About the Artist of the Day Series

All artworks have been published with permission of the artist. Our "Artist of the Day" series is a regular feature highlighting artworks from the 100's of grant applications we receive. The "Not Real Art Grant" is an annual award designed to empower the careers of contemporary artists, and this is one way we honor all entries we receive. Find out more about the grant program here.


Tags

botanical, depression, fantasy, healing, landscape painting, mental health, nature, painting, psychology, refuge, therapy


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