Paul Bowen, who grew up in a seaside town in Wales, lived and worked near the waterfront in Provincetown on Cape Cod for 30 years. He has always been interested in material with a history—wood he has scavenged that was once part of ships, houses, salt works, barrels, cable drums, or crates. He has also worked with ships' flags, tar, canvas, rope and other marine detritus. His drawings and prints derive their imagery from his environment and he has created his own inks from squid, Xerox toner and walnuts. His small-scale sculptures, constructed from wood fragments, use limited means such as stacking, piling, and simple carpentry and often appear to float across or torque away from the surface of the wall. He also builds large-scale sculptures, primarily commissioned for private homes and museums, with massive timbers, like those culled from old beer vats and other salvaged sources.
Since moving to Vermont with his wife in September 2005, many of his drawings merge images of covered bridges with wharfs, reflecting his new environment as well as that of the Cape. His new sculptures combine sea-worn wood he has gathered from Provincetown's beaches with wood from the Wilder Dam in New Hampshire (sometimes chewed by beavers or stained with iron that has leached from surrounding rocks).
Bowen has been a recipient of fellowships from the Esther and Adolph Gottlieb Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the Artist's Resource Trust. He is currently a Visiting Professor at Dartmouth College, and his work is represented by the Albert Merola Gallery in Provincetown, MA, the Clark Gallery in Lincoln, MA, BigTown Gallery in Rochester, VT and Garvey Rita Art & Antiques in West Hartford, CT. His work is in many private and public collections.