Fran Bouwman - Contemporary Sculptor
My creativity is inspired by many things - emotion, philosophy, diversity, politics and spirituality. Art helps me process the world around me. It's therapeutic and it motivates me to dig into the underbelly of life, to explore the depths of myself and my relationship to others.
I was 23 when I met Jeff Stone, a madman in the best sense of the word, and a mentor who changed my life forever. After meditating upon my hands for several minutes, he was the first person to tell me that I was destined to be a sculptor. His intensity as a painter and his wisdom as a Tai Chi instructor were inspiring, and within several weeks of meeting each other he convinced me that I had a gift and enrolled me in a sculpture class at the Ontario College of Art. I went. I loved it! Subsequently, I also switched my studies at the University of Toronto from Archaeology to World Religion and Philosophy. After Jeff saw me well on my way, he disappeared from my life altogether. I am forever indebted to him.
Wood, metal and clay are the mediums I enjoy working with. Ever since I was a child I was drawn to the world of shapes around me - clouds, rocks, rivers, trees. Traipsing through forests I was mystified by the giants - by the shapes of their branches, burls and leaves. Already there was so much to see – a face, an elephant’s trunk, a raven, and a bear. Everything around me was telling a story.
In my twenties I became fascinated by diversity, whether cultural, gender, socio-economic or neural. My interest in feminist and diverse perspectives grew immensely. It is the driving force behind so much of my work.
Thirty years after my relationship with sculpture began I am still ambitiously pursuing the creative life – trying to balance my artistic pursuits with my musical comedy, educational consulting business and the practicalities of life. I find myself back in the area where I grew up… close to the shores of Georgian Bay, nestled in the woods. What keeps me going is the idea that my potential as an artist is limitless. I’m excited to see what happens.
1990 - 1998
1992 - 1993
University of Toronto
Autumn Leaves Studio Tour, Walters Falls Sculpture Gallery
Studio Tour, Mount Pleasant Gardens
Flying Vulvas, Shelagh Fox Gallery
Different Kettle of Fish, Meaford Hall Arts and Culture Centre
The Sexhibition, The Roxy Theatre
Evergreen Brickworks , Toronto
Convergence , Tom Thomson Gallery
Go Figure, Collingwood Public Library
Shakti, Flesherton Art Gallery
Autopoiesis, Meaford Hall Arts and Culture Centre
Contemporary Portraits, Blue Mountain Foundations of the Arts
Group Exhibit, Walters Falls Art Show
Go Figure, Spin Gallery