Alyson Bowen

Six Feet - Admired From a Distance

Just as the city was starting to unfold and come to life, shedding its winter weight, we were forced indoors. I was personally struggling to catch my breath after a heavy case of seasonal depression only to feel the relief I had been hoping for was no longer promised to me and in fact was put on display only to be admired from a distance.
- reflection on 2020 for Six Feet

Much of the imagery I created throughout the last year has yet to surface here. My backlog is typically quite delayed as part of my process is to spend an undefined period of time with my images to explore their ultimate executions. The year 2020 felt different as so much of what I was making was in direct response to forced solitude amidst a global pandemic. Engulfed by uncertainty and fear I channeled my anxiety into my work in hopes to help further clarify my thoughts and feelings. 

I have a handful of ongoing projects at this point that I am still finding a balance with. You can expect a few printed works to release this year as well as a much needed website update. 

Wishing you all health and happiness in your journeys. 

The Pacific Northwest 40

My image titled ‘Internal Conflict’ was selected to participate in the PNW 40 exhibition at LightBox Photographic Gallery in Astoria, Oregon. This image is part of an ongoing concept of double exposing and cross processing 35mm slide film. I created this image after the passing of my sweet pet skunk Lydia as I was trying to work through my feelings pertaining to the last 11 years we spent together; growing together. While I was unable to view the show in person due to COVID restrictions, it was a treat to have a virtual walk through presented by the gallery through social media. 

“This group exhibit celebrates the Photographic Talent of the Pacific Northwest. We feature work that exhibits the unique vision and creativity of the individual photographer. One image each from 40 photographers was chosen to be featured in the exhibit.

For 7 years the exhibit celebrated the Portland Photographic Community combining great work from up and coming photographers with that of established photographers from the Portland community. Beginning last year, we opened the Exhibit to the entire Pacific Northwest for the PNW 40.” - Lightbox Photographic Gallery

You may view the entire show here

Fotofilmic JRNL 4 - Spring 2020

I am honored to have been selected as one of twelve photographers to be published in the Fotofilmic Spring 2020 JRNL 4 edited by Katherine Harris Pomerantz of TIME. Pomerantz selected an ongoing series titled ‘Habitual Tendencies’ in which I am exploring the result of routine: subtle inclinations that are imprinted in our minds, our environment. These images are products of my unquenchable curiosity in the world around me.

Pomerantz’ caption accompanied my images reading, “”A curiously placed surveillance camera, a staircase leading into murky water, a neighborhood shack emanating a strange orange glow from within. Each image raises more questions than answers, and allows the viewer to enter a liberated state of childlike wonder. Bowen’s work is an important reminder that sometimes all it takes is curiosity to extract the extraordinary from the ordinary.”

When I was exploring topics for my thesis the idea of habits was something that kept grabbing my attention. I felt inspired by memories of tire tracks in the grass in front of the mailbox of my childhood home, sun-bleached and worn down by the postal person’s 6 day week: the tan lines from tank tops and bathing suits that summer left behind: the way my walk wore down the soles of my shoes at an angle that eventually made it necessary to retire them. These memories felt impossible to document and portray in an ambiguous way that would allow others to connect to them. In 2019 I joined a critique group in Portland with the intent to focus on cohesive imagery. This allowed me the opportunity to reflect on the work I have been making post thesis and it was there I noticed I had subconsciously found a way to document those habitual tendencies. 

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