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Spaces both Real and Imagined: Paintings by Margaret Bowes

A series of small oil paintings, each depicting one letter of the word "nowhere"Sometimes You Have To Go Up Really High To Realize How Small You Are, oil on canvas

Margaret Bowes, our featured artist for today, uses her artwork in a unique exploration of spaces both real and imagined, and our relationships to those spaces.


Working primarily in painting, Margaret crafts exquisite images that evoke feelings of familiarity and a certain, poignant lonesomeness. These are not all happy places, though some of them are serene enough to capture the viewer in a meditative state. They read almost as portraits of places, capturing a tone and an atmosphere more than trying to be a specific document of an area. Some scenes are devoid of life while others are populated with ethereal human figures – in one painting, we see only the feet of the subject, as though we are seeing through that person’s eyes and becoming both the viewer and the subject at once.


A gallery of images on Margaret Bowes' websiteImag(in)ing Horizon gallery on

An oil painting of several figures on a beachLong Lost Cause (Part One), oil on canvas

I am particularly drawn to the line motif that recurs in several of the works on Margaret portfolio ( Straight-ruled, red diagonal lines, completely at odds with the rest of the scene, cut across the canvas and form strange, false horizons along which we get a changed view of the image.  


A projection onto a cotton roof of a tent-like structureLet's Go To The Sun, 35mm projection onto cotton and wood

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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