The Whitehorse Art Collection has been the recipient of many generous gifts since its establishment in 1927. In its early years, the Collection flourished with the continuing tradition of donations. Recently, several significant artists have donated artworks to the collection through the Australian Government Cultural Gifts Program.
One of these contributing artists is Dean Bowen, who generously donated four works to the Whitehorse Art Collection in 2019. Council was delighted to receive these donations because they are relevant examples of works that adhere to the Whitehorse Collections Policy and were created by a significant local Australian artist.
Young Girl with Echidnas by Bowen, from 2009, is an artwork that elicits delight in these uncertain and trying times. Single folk, couples and families are taking advantage of their daily exercise time to discover the hidden streets, creeks, parklands and lake that are often overlooked in Whitehorse.
Restrictions have especially tested many families, forced to juggle work and home-schooling, as they negotiate their way through the worldwide pandemic. On our traffic-less streets, we witness many weary parents walking at dusk, with excited children in tow, much like the joyful scene of freedom in Dean Bowen’s unique (one-off) bronze. The work features an earnest tight-lipped girl, trying to round up a parade of wayward echidnas.
Notoriously shy these spiky animals, however, seem to bolt out into the open landscape just like children at the end of the day on any street in Whitehorse.
Young Girl with Echidnas is certain to activate a smile on any weary face and reminds us of the joys that a return to freedom promises.
For more information about the artist Dean Bowen visit www.deanbowen.com