Chris Cowan is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in the Ottawa Valley, in Ontario Canada.
Chris’ art practice is untethered and dynamic, drawing from a obsessive fascination with the history of human visual art making, filtered through way too much institutionalized conceptual fine arts education, and rooted in a sincere and joyful love of tactile, textured, colourful, sparkly, shinny things.
Chris works in a wide variety of media, including, but not limited to: oil, acrylic, gouache and watercolour paints, latex house paint, pencil, markers, pen and ink, punch needle embroidery, photography, video, sound, lithography, intaglio, woodcut and book binding.
At this moment in time, she is contemplating what it means for us human visual artists that the robots are doing what we spend a lifetime learning how to do in literally 5 seconds, and often with better results. AI art generating algorithms are either the most mind-boggling and useful tool an artist has ever has access to, or our full-on replacements. Probably both.
She is also deriving great personal peace and satisfaction by the repetitive motion of stabbing a piece of monk’s cloth over and over again, for hours at a time, while creating images inspired by the infinite, unimaginable vastness of space, to make pink and pastel punch needle embroidered throw pillows.
Previous trains of thought that have dominated Chris’ subject matter include keywords such as: word mythology, sadomasochism, displacement, home, cultural otherness, kinbaku, feminism, the sacred and the profane, dreams, somnambulism, comic art, and oil paintings as illustration of dominant cultural narratives in a pre-photographic society.
Chris earned her Bachelors of Fine Art in Interdisciplinary Arts at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and her Masters of Fine Arts in Oil Painting at the Kyoto City University of Arts in Kyoto, Japan. She also holds diplomas of Japanese language and Canadian Immigration Law.
She lives with her husband, son, a very old miniature dachshund with a heart murmer, a billion house plants, and a yard full of chipmunks and salamanders in Deep River, Ontario.