Judith Cowan is a member of the Art Practice as Investigation Research Cluster.
Judith Cowan was born in London, where she currently lives and works. She completed her BA in sculpture at Sheffield Polytechnic, before completing an MA in Sculpture at Chelsea School of Art, following which she spent a year abroad at the British School at Rome on the Gulbenkian Rome Scholarship.
Judith Cowan's work has been included in group exhibitions at the Hayward Gallery, the Serpentine Gallery and abroad in Italy, Norway, Czech Republic and USA. She has had solo exhibitions at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Camden Arts Centre, Kettle's Yard, Angel Row Gallery, Studio Stefania Miscetti (IT), Museo Laboratorio di Arte Contemporanea (IT) and Erica Fiorentini Gallery (IT), and Sculpture in the Workplace: Canary Wharf. Recent projects have included group shows at the Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, The Walker Art Gallery, Tina B Festival (Prague), Sharjah Art Foundation, and Marsden Woo Gallery.
Angelica, is a film project made in collaboration with Museo Internazionelle delle Marionette Antonio Pasqualino (Palermo), using their collection and working closely with a Sicilian puppeteer. The film is about inversions: looking at and seeing things from an unusual vantage point, behind stage, in between scenes, the sidelines, unnoticed marginalia. Angelica was exhibited at MIMAP in 2013, and recently included in a group exhibition, /seconds at Sharjah Art Foundation, 2014.
The Stuff of Dreams, 2012
A solo exhibition at Canary Wharf curated by Ann Elliott, The Stuff of Dreams comprised two installations: ‘Globes of Stuff’ and The Palace of Raw Dreams. Five large, resin globes resting on different axis, scattered around different areas of the floor like tumbleweeds, in sight lines with each other. All cast from the same mould, a giant ball of wrapped cloth with an accumulation of seemingly random objects that emerge haphazardly from various parts of its folds. ‘The Palace of Raw Dreams’ is a large wooden walkway that supports a rectangular screen. At either side of the structure is a ladder, stairs that seem to provide access to the walkway, but remain inaccessible: the audience is involved, while kept at a slight remove. The film, like a type of opera, shot in the Antonio Pasqualino Museum in Palermo, Sicily, shows fragmented narratives from varying perspectives including the puppets. The two installations have in common a sense of both movement and the static, of presence and absence, of making something strange to itself by dislocating or altering it slightly from reality and the world around it: presenting or raising a different point of view from which to see and interpret objects, ideas, and how we might engage with them.
Finnegan's Teeth, 2009
In Finnegan’s Teeth (2009) Cowan dealt with the notion of gaze, narrative, and physical sensation by inhabiting and reconstructing an animal point of view: an imagination of the King’s Cross area of London as traversed and experienced through a dog, Finnegan. The result included a publication (image and text), a series of photographs, and a number of site-specific installations across three different locations: Goodsway Hoardings, Maiden Lane Canal Bridge, and Fish & Coal Building. These billboard-sized images and fragments of text were an attempt to re-insert Cowan’s visual and narrative representations of Finnegan’s trajectory back into their original contexts, engendering a visual and intellectual dialogue between site, narrative, experience, and representation.
Tina B: The Prague Contemporary Art Festival 2010
Tina B: The Prague Contemporary Art Festival 2010, invited Cowan to present a new incarnation of the Finnegan’s Teeth project: the artist’s book sat on a bench surrounded by an series of panels from the initial piece. The images were installed in a large-scale frieze-like presentation fitted into and around the walls of a room, and visually led into a space in which a documentary of the original work in London, by filmmaker Renee Sutherland, was shown.