Wayfaring: Bella Dower

The intention for four artists
 participating in the Wayfaring exhibition to ‘test different materials and processes, modes of seriality, combinations of objects and display configurations’ is executed with great sensitivity by Bella Dower, through her thoughtful combination of  materials and disciplines. The delicate and enchanting porcelain brooches and sheer silk pins in her Peripheral series contemplate ‘shifting autobiographic memory and the process of remembrance.’ Dower uses photographic processes to capture and record the passing of time.  

Adrift across the gallery walls, the delicately transferred fragments are presented to us as though they are themselves memories adrift in one’s own mind. Reflecting an ongoing process of resurfacing, recognition, dismemberment and return to obscurity, Dower’s work contemplates the permanence of memory and ‘meditates on both the ‘memory image’, and the history of jewelry as a commemorative device’, writes Dower. The resulting works can be experienced as artefacts of the traces left by time in the physical world and in the mind.  

The idea of wayfaring, of a journey, slow and considered, weaves its way through each of the artists work in different ways. A long-term project, the exhibition itself will travel on a journey of three locations with three different iterations, shifting and changing along the way. Bella Dower’s thoughtful, enigmatic work offers us the chance to take a quiet breath along this journey to reflect on the passing of time and the memories we will continue to carry with us. 

Although visitors cannot physically visit the gallery, the exhibition can be enjoyed online on the Craft ACT website and social media platforms. A beautiful online catalogue features essays, artist reflections and biographies, photographs and a complete list of works. Most of the works in the exhibition are available for purchase, and artist interviews and video tours simulate the gallery experience. 
Wayfaring is now showing online at craftact.org.au 

Bella Dower, Peripheral 12 and 13, 2020. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.