“The seascapes and ocean horizons were an ever-changing constant in my life. I could sit and stare out to the horizon and my mind could be full or empty, concentrated or flighty, calm or excited… Ultimately it didn’t seem to matter as the horizon always held one notion above all others for me… that of possibility.”Full Bio Tweet
About Alexander Jowett
From his student days at Dalhousie University, where he studied Philosophy, to his time spent as a nomadic globe-trotting freelance photographer and writer for sports and travel magazines, Alexander Jowett forged a world view that is uniquely expressed through his art. Taking a philosophical perspective that art has a distinct ability to express ideas and understanding that can proliferate into the broader culture, through aesthetic means, Jowett explores ideas of identity and cultural understanding.
Current Series: Le Baptême de la Solitude
Le Baptême de la Solitude follows from Alexander Jowett’s Horizon Lines series, in which simple lines are drawn in a meditative, repetitive manner to create contemplative, minimalist works of seascapes. Directly referencing Paul Bowles’ essay Le Baptême de la Solitude, and further inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novels Le Petit Prince and Wisdom of the Sands, this new series moves from simple seascape drawings into desert and ocean-based abstractions, playing upon themes of solitude, isolation, and global trade, especially as it pertains to the spice routes.
In Le Baptême de la Solitude, Alexander Jowett uses mixed media (primarily vintage indigo cloths, raw denim, and linen) to reference a wide range of experiences of place and time, in addition to the global trade of treasured natural indigo dyes. The use of washed, raw linens, vintage indigo cloths and simple painted lines create roughened textural abstractions of a solitary natural experience of Wind, Sand, and Stars or ‘heaven and earth.’
Previous Series: Horizon Lines
The Horizon Lines series, Alexander Jowett started with the simplest means possible: ink and paper, and one repetitive motion of drawing a line. Initially inspired by Kant’s ‘Critique of Pure Reason’ and his writings on perception and understanding – and more specifically on the line itself – the Horizon Lines grew out of Jowetts’ time spent traveling, sailing, and surfing the oceans of the world. Kneeling on the ground, with healthy doses of Zen Buddhism and Epicurean ideas on happiness, Jowett draws each line exactly as the last one and slowly draws out the seascapes that are forever etched in his mind in a meditative manner. The subtlety and simplicity of the work are intended to allow the viewer to bring to the viewing experience their own past experiences and ultimately, themselves. In doing so, the works are both laments for a time spent at the ocean’s edge, and a reminder that in the depth of the horizon lays possibility.
BA philosophy Major, Dalhousie University 1989-91