Jack Bowers of Waco, Texas considers water’s long-term, permanent relationship with humanity and how Earth’s natural elements are inseparable from consciousness.
Mindfulness anchors the art and life practices of Jack Bowers. The Waco, Texas–based artist considers consciousness and energy sources to be the center of everything.
“The idea that our consciousness is a symbol of the universal mind is most important to me,” he writes.
Natural elements, including water, also serve as inspiration for Bowers, who has won best of show and been named honorable mention in various sculptural and ceramic prize categories in places from Japan to Colorado. Water-specific pieces in his portfolio include Duck Soup (2021), a giclée and paint print depicting a psychedelic scene in which household items (a vintage television, a dresser, a lamp) are suspended off the floor by rope to avoid getting soaked in a flooded, wallpapered living room.
“My approach is to introduce and eventually join the visual representation of whatever sprinkled pond or sprayed ocean waves I might find in a photo or map into a marriage with my own gestures,” Bowers writes. “The objective is to create an energy or feeling, as any visual artist wants.”
Like Bowers’s curiosity for life’s mysteries, his artworks—which received a thorough treatment in the 2022 Art Center Waco exhibition Perspectivism—evoke a sense of wonder.
In addition to prints that centralize water in verbatim depictions—High Water Wonder (2020) and Blue Summer Splashes (2021) show dramatic water formations in ocean-like settings—the artist also repurposes maps. Two Rivers (2021), a giclée and paint piece on an old United States Geological Survey topographic map, is overlaid with stout green markings to demarcate rivers and watersheds. Elsewhere, soft red and blue pigments bleed towards the edges, causing the work to look weathered and drought-stricken, like the paper was left out in the sun too long and in need of an immense drink of water. It’s a hypnotic rendering that demands time—and time well spent—to process.