Chris Bowes is an artist based in Melbourne, Australia, whose practice explores the potential of photographic techniques and found objects to be used as documentary devices. Through his work he aims to stretch the definitions of the photograph, using both traditional and experimental methods to capture the breadth of the mediums ability to record.
Bowes’ documentary projects are focused on creating narratives around various aspects of Australian society and the country’s unique landscape, using the traces that he finds left behind by other people to construct open-ended narratives. For Bowes, finding a definite answer in the images is not important. Instead, the pictures work together to offer clues to some larger puzzle, tying together different pieces of information in a way that leaves room for ambiguity. These projects are often long-term in their making, with durations ranging from several months to several years, offering not just different viewpoints in space, but also over time. Bowes has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, and his work is held in private and public collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Macquarie Group.
Into the Undergrowth
Within Brisbane, one of Australia’s largest cities, are pockets of bushland scattered amid the suburban sprawl. Often adjoining public parks, the outskirts of these undeveloped sanctuaries are visited by many of its local citizens. While most are content with enjoying the artificially created recreational areas, a few residents go a little deeper and explore the untamed undergrowth. Here they establish secret shelters and leave other traces to their presence, away from prying eyes.
The sites featured in these images are close in proximity to the bush that the artist and his friends used as an escape during their adolescence. By returning to these places and probing further into the scrub, the project seeks to document the hide-outs, objects, and paths found by the artist over several years, piecing together the clues left by other travelers who have visited these once familiar locations.
To view more of Chris’ work please visit his website.