I make sculptures of prehistoric animals that represent a lost world. I am intrigued by animals that evolved with distinct features, such as unfamiliar tusks, strange elongated limbs, and unusual proportions. My pieces are a way of bringing these extinct animals back to life. I use clay to create folds of flesh, and fill their bellies with air.
The nostalgia of the circus provides a connection to the child like joy I find in discovering new animals for the first time. Elements of the circus in each piece create an alternate timeline in which the viewer can travel back and experience the power of these majestic animals. They find themselves on velvet cushions swaying on the back of an ancient giant in an unknown landscape.
Colors and intricate patterns are fading; the paint peels and wood rots away under heavy feet and wrinkled hide. As time passes, the animals march on and adapt. Enduring the years like a weathered tapestry, they become the animals we know today.
About the Artist
Ariel Bowman was raised in Dallas, Texas where her parents are both artists. Growing up, she spent a lot of time outside with animals. The undeveloped woodlands that surrounded her childhood home inspired her to create art that focused on the natural world. As a sculptor, Ariel works in clay and bronze using a variety of mixed media techniques.
Clay is the most influential material that Ariel has worked with. She earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from Kansas City Art Institute majoring in ceramics. While in school she studied abroad at the International Ceramics Studio in Hungary, and was awarded the Regina K. Brown NCECA undergraduate Fellowship. Ariel has been an artist in residence at the Armory Art Center and her work has been collected by the Kamm Teapot Foundation, the Belger Arts Center, and the Kolva-Sullivan Collection. She is currently working towards her Masters of Fine Arts degree in ceramics at the University of Florida.