AboutNostalgia for impossible journeys, a treasure chest of vintage toys and the âghost' and âdazzle' ships of two World Wars, Departure, Nick Bowering's new body of work is redolent with a sense of being âborn out of time'.
One starting point of Departure is the exploration of his parent's journey in 1963 as £10 Poms, when they followed thousands of other British couples who were given assisted passage to emigrate to Australia. Nick was born in Perth, Western Australia, two and a half years later. As a child was fascinated by the photographic slides of his family voyage back home on the Fairsky in 1966 when they returned to England. His new paintings are in part an evocation of that journey which Nick was too young to recall.
One vivid childhood memory is when his father came home with a battered leather case filled with toys and a train set. It was typical of his father to keep small treasures in boxes and old tobacco tins for safe-keeping. The âboxing and encasing' elements of the new work investigate this wish to âpreserve the precious'.
Nick has also begun to explore the extraordinary roles ocean liners performed in two World Wars in his assemblages based on the âghost' and âdazzle' ships. The liner Queen Elizabeth became the âGreat Grey Ghost' when she was used as a troop carrier during World War II and she is one of the many models Nick has worked from for this series. Using dramatic cropping and elevated viewpoints, Departure also explores the romance of travel, the inherent deception of model-making and the ambiguity of memory.
Nick attended Camberwell School of Art (1982-86) where he received a BA Hons in Illustration and has also studied lithography and photography. He has exhibited widely (London, New York, Dublin, Glasgow and Miami) and has work in private collections, from BP Oil to the Science Museum. Cunard recently purchased a series of ocean liner paintings for their latest ship, Queen Victoria.