irene bow



Central to the thinking behind recent work is the question of the compatibility of our culture with the natural world and its limits. I think of my practice as research, a way of recording and reporting from my own subjective experience of the world and as a way of questioning and re-imagining aspects of our ecological identity.

The works are constructed single pieces, installations and groups varying in size but often of human scale. The various material qualites, using manmade or processed natural materials and the method of construction, are central to their nature. They are usually open works, skins and open interiors that leave space for imagination.

I often try to set up a tension between material elements and form, intelligibility and elegance and strive for a dynamic quality. I like to make use of forms that may suggest metaphorical readings. All the works are provisional in nature and aspire to stir the curiosity of an observer.

Titles do not determine meaning but suggest a context, floating words across the gap between language and object.

Issues within the environmental debate, questions of perception arising from the mediated nature of our contact with the natural world that challenge old paradigms and factors such as consumerism and deforestation, inform the works.

Influences are diverse and changing, including artists, Richard Deacon, Agnes Denes, Martin Puryear, writers Italo Calvino, Thomas Hardy, phenomenologists Maurice Merleau- Ponty, Gaston Bachelard, Paul Crowther, and anthropologists David Abrams and Mary Douglas.





BA Hons Fine Art, University of Plymouth


BA Hons Social Studies, University of Hull

Postgraduate Certificate ,Dept of Psychiatry,University of Manchester

Research Fellowship, Dept of Psychiatry, University of Southampton



Psychiatric Social Work

Research and Lecturing at the University of Southampton

Teaching and magazine illustration in West Africa and the Sudan

Hand-printed and Indigo dyed textile design and production, mail order, workshops, craft shows, exhibitions




'Richard Deacon's use of the interplay of 'inside' and 'outside' in his sculptural practice'.      

Association of Art Historians Bullitin 71. 1999 (Awarded AAH national thesis prize) 

'Matter of Love'....Resurgence Jan/Feb 2000

Earlier research publications in British Journal of Social Work and British Journal of Psychiatry


















Exhibition History

1994Viewpoint Gallery, Plymouth
1995Coombe Gallery, Dittisham, Devon
1996Coombe Gallery, Dittisham, Devon
1997-04Sculptures and drawings for Working Woodlands Holdings Ltd
1997-99Three exhibtions at the Gallery, Exeter College of Art and Design
2000-4Postal Art....collaborative projects with Alumni group
2005Design commission - sculpture for the Saudi royal family yacht.
2006PhD proposal accepted by Plymouth University
2008Coombe Gallery, Dartmouth
2009Affordable Art Fair, Battersea
2010Coombe Gallery, Dartmouth
2012Coombe Gallery, Dartmouth