• Adrian Owen

    Adrian Owen
    • Artist Statement
      • Geophysiology Series

        Geophysiology is the study of interaction among living organisms on the Earth, operating under the hypothesis that the Earth itself acts as a single living organism.

        "The Gaia theory implies; there is no longer any need to consider the evolution of the species separately from the evolution of their environment. The two processes are tightly coupled as a single indivisible process. It is not enough merely to say that the organism that leaves the most progeny succeeds. Success also depends upon coherent coupling between the evolution of the organism and evolution of its material environment."
        As expressed by James E. Lovelock

        My Gaia series explores our consciousness and acknowledgement of the responsibility we owe to the earth and the inheritance bestowed upon us and which we in turn leave in our wake to be inherited. Particularly poignant to myself as both a father and artist. Translated álesco', derived from latin, translates as 'growth' or to 'increase'. Gaia of course is the personification of the Earth.
    • Biography
      • I’m a Cape Town based professional artist who specialises in fine art, portraiture and illustration. Aside from private portrait and fine art commissions I continue to work commercially as an illustrator for the publishing and advertising industries.

        As a young man I did portraits on Leicester and Trafalgar Squares in London. I annually made my appearance on the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh International Art Festival, as well as participating in local art festivals such as the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. These were the formative years to my career as a professional artist.

        I enjoy the malleable textures of charcoal's palette and find it can be almost fluid. After a trip to Chiang Mai in 2007 my methods with charcoal expanded to the use of a dry brush technique. I have always preferred the tactility of traditional mediums and a hands-on approach to fine arts.  I’m currently allowing myself more grace for error while experimenting with a combination of various mediums.

        Group Shows:

        2017 - Painterly, Grande Provence Gallery, Franschhoek.
        2017 - Ars Gratis Artis, The Gallery at Grande Provence, Franschhoek.
        2017 - Vice Versa, Art.b Gallery, Cape Town.
        2016 - That Art Fair, DF Contemporary, Cape Town
        2015 - Signature, The Gallery at Grande Provence, Franschhoek.
        2014 - Face to Figure, The Studio, Kalk Bay.
        2014 - Skulduggery, The Studio, Kalk Bay.
    • Interview
      • Which new trends or South African artists do you fine inspiring at the moment?
        The work of Kate Gottgens challenges my aesthetic. Her ability to express with such freedom in her form is admirable. I've been a fan of Bastiaan van Stenis's work for some time, primarily because I respect his audacious technique. Akin is Norman O'Flynn who isn't afraid to say it as it is. Phillemon Hlungwani's work I appreciate very much given my experience with charcoal.

        Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?

        Judith Mason, who ultimately passed aaway at the end of 2016, remains my favourite South African artist. She was undoubtedly a voice to be reckoned with and her legacy will remain a potent inheritance. She was technically virtuous and her style was an assimilation of symbolic, expressionist, narrative and representational imagery. She too, both challenged and disturbed my aesthetic, which is why I admire her and continue to aspire to her example.

        Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?
        Incidentally, while having spent days in The Louvre and likewise The Prado, set off a trigger alarm in the Van Gogh Museum for stepping too close to one of his paintings, been to a number of world class exhibitions abroad; it was a Judith Mason exhibition at the Aardklop Festival in Potchefstroom at the turn of the century where I was a participating artist which I recall having the most profound effect.

        Where do you get your inspiration for your work?
        The artists I've mentioned above all resonate with me personally because of their ethos. I suppose, akin to Mason; I'm a humanist, like most humans should be. My inspiration is derived from my innate interest in our collective nature, values and welfare. When I refer to our collective nature I don't mean any less so the very nature which sustains us and our relationship to it. Since even before becoming a father over 10 years ago, but even more so after the arrival of my son, did the pertinence of his earthly inheritance drive my ambitions as an artist. As is apparent with the human race, there is work to be done.

        Do you have any rituals or habits involving your art-making that you can tell us about?
        Apparently like many artists, music is key to my process. It often helps shift ones mood to suit the tempo necessary to get stuck into the work.

        What do you like most about being an artist?
        Artistry in itself is a provocative self actualising challenge. By definition, being an artist, I believe, is a means by which one challenges or is challenged to redefine one's self.

        How do you handle bad days when you experience artist's block?
        I go for a surf, a run, a long walk or visit trusted artist friends in their studios, which always seems to help fuel the fires.

        What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
        All great achievements, in retrospect, seem to merely be stepping stones to the achievements which beckon ones purpose.

        Do you feel that you want to make a difference to the world or in people's lives? If yes, how?
        I'm aware of the fact that a lot of my art has in fact made a difference in peoples lives. Commissioned portraits I've done become evocative, inherent and lasting keepsakes for those who've commissioned them. Art is so subjective. I do hope to make the kind of art which might influence some positive, conscious change in any individual who might appreciate my work for what it is. This in turn might effect further conscious and creative difference to the world at large.

        What are your plans for the coming year?

        I plan on digging deeper into that question about achievements.




  • Gaia Alesco: Geophysiology II - Painting by Adrian Owen ADRIAN OWEN
    Gaia Alesco: Geophysiology II
    Painting / 69 x 96 cm
    R17 100
  • Gaia Alesco: Geophysiology I - Painting by Adrian Owen ADRIAN OWEN
    Gaia Alesco: Geophysiology I
    Painting / 69 x 96 cm
    R17 100