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Self-Taught & Visionary Art in New Zealand

Sylvia Bowen
(b. 1950), Mangonui

Sylvia is a visionary artist and a visionary person. She was guided to live at her present place by her trust in prophecies from the past and from her sensitivity to coincidences and signs in daily events as revelatory of layers of purpose and design in the world.

Sylvia’s paintings are direct manifestations of that sensitivity, and the energy that some see as moving through individual lives: family relationships, time, and place.

The colours Sylvia uses are lush; pastels meld into earth-rich olives and deep outer-space blue. The forms are rhythmical and squeezed into proximity with each other; there is a swelling of forms, an unfurling, the sense of universal growth of the bush. But in the paintings, within this primordial pumping heartbeat, there occur specific personalities, portraits of real people that Sylvia has known and loved, particular people inevitably being shaped by the larger design.

Sylvia’s technique is to apply the oil paint simply with a fine brush in little directional strokes that allow layers of colour to build up and model the forms as if they were being shaped from clay.


Selected Works

  • UntitledUntitled
  • ‘Flower’‘Flower’
  • UntitledUntitled, 1999

Showing all 3 works.