Alyson Bowen

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. 

The Road exhibition - Float Photo Magazine

‘Intersecting Somewhere’. Eastern Oregon. 2019. 

There’s something nostalgic and timeless about being a passenger, an observer, on the open road. In this seat you have no control of time; how it speeds up and slows down, how the lines all blur together only to come into focus somewhere along the horizon. From this seat you have the freedom to daydream, to lose yourself in the unknown. It was from this seat that I watched as the landscape shifted elevations and the sky opened up from a dark grey to a bright blue over golden fields that seemed to have no real end. I dreamt of the point where these lines would intersect, who and what I would find there, and how I would convince myself of coming back. 

From the ongoing series ‘Far From Home’, a collection of landscapes created in response to feeling as if you are witnessing a scene for the first time, while simultaneously cultivating a sense of familiarity. Each image proposes to the viewer a look into one’s own memory, that perhaps in some sense, we have been here before.

This image was selected to participate in The Road exhibition as part of a digital slide show curated by Dana Stirling & Yoav Friedlander of Float Photo Magazine hosted at the JKC Gallery in New Jersey. It was a pleasure to have had my work reviewed by both curators and selected for inclusion. The images all work so well together and have left me feeling invigorated, ready to get back on the road to nowhere and everywhere. Follow the link to view the online exhibiton. The slideshow has been embedded for your enjoyment. Thank you FLOAT Photo Mag. 

“The Road” exhibition collected images from 46 artists from across the country to create an exhibition that celebrates, highlights and explores the American road and all that it in-tells. The exhibition will survey the notion of the American Road. The road is an iconic theme that runs in some of the best and well known American photographers work such as Stephen Shore, Ed Ruscha, Alec Soth and many others . Photographers have traveled these vast landscapes and across thousands of miles to document this country and all that surrounds the road; the landscape, the gas stations, the motels, the diners and everything that comes by its side and its lifestyle. - FLOAT

Using Format