‘A year ago, I underwent heart surgery and it was utterly life-changing. I came out of that experience with a completely different view of life and a new realisation of who I really was,’ says artist Shane Bowden.
‘This was the catalyst for the self-portrait. After returning to Australia, having lived abroad for seven years, my new home and studio at Sydney’s Avalon Beach was the perfect setting to do the painting. I found a red wooden chair at the Lifeline store across the street and got to work.’
‘The portrait is a neo-expressionist reflection of myself as a child in part, mixed with all the emotion and confusion of the last 40 years as I tried to find my true self. It’s also a happy portrait about where I am now, knowing how precious life is, and how we are all special in our own unique way.’
‘The right hand points to what I had to face. It also points through the studio window to the store where I bought the chair.’
Born in Brisbane in 1974, Bowden was a finalist in the 2010 Archibald Prize with a collaborative work. In 2010 and 2011, he was a finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.