Tony Bowen graduated in Fine Art in 1983. Following postgraduate study (art and design education) in 1985, he has divided his time between personal practice and art and design education (teaching and curriculum leadership) chiefly in the post-compulsory sector.
Working with painting through the eighties and nineties, a developing interest in making photographs gradually emerged: initially informing and supporting work in other media, and subsequently as outcomes in their own right.
A preoccupation with marks and their interpretation has spanned many years. Recent work focuses largely on the exploration of found surfaces in nature and in the urban environment, a rich source of interest, surprise, beauty, mystery and (actual or latent) meaning. This practice invites exploration of the confluence of two lasting fascinations: firstly, atmospheric and formal considerations; secondly, the power of the trace, the fragment and the unresolved to provoke the imagination in unexpected ways.
A hunter rather than a farmer (to use Jeff Wall's analogy) his work is currently made without any intervention on location, and with minimal post production.
His work has recently been shown in the USA and the UK: He was included in the "Art of Photography Show 2012" at the San Diego Institute of Art (California) and awarded an honourable mention in the 2012 Los Angeles International Photography Awards (California). Work from the "Scratch" project was shown at DPM Images in Brighton, as part of Brighton Photo Fringe in October 2012. His photographs featured in INPA3 (international painting annual) published by MANiFEST (Cincinnati, Ohio) in March 2013. He showed at Brick Lane Gallery's "Photography Now" show (London 2013), and was selected for the on-line "forexample.org" visual arts resource as well as for inclusion in the 58th edition of F-Stop Magazine (May 2013). Twelve pieces were shown at the Davis Orton Gallery (Hudson, New York) in September 2013. As well as taking part in the Artists Open House programme during Brighton Festival, he was selected to show in "Translations" at the Regency Town House, Brighton, and was jointly awarded the "AOH Artist of the Year 2014". He showed with Bernard Lodge at The Old Market (Brighton and Hove) in April and May 2015, and again in the AOH programme in 2016.