May 04, 2016

Jacob Bowen '16 embraces the rusting process to create unique art canvases. 

Jacob Bowen '16 

work of art by Jacob BowenCaptured Corrosion 

Living by the ocean and saltwater has consequences. Some metal turns to rust in time no matter how well you try to protect them. I had always wanted to follow my father's footsteps in his clam and oyster business. I had a truck that was passed down to me from my father. We used this truck to haul clams and oysters along with many other things that had been in the salt water. As time went on, I saw my truck starting to fall apart piece by piece. The truck had to be repaired constantly and replaced with spare parts we could find. The bed rusted away. The tailgate rusted off, the bumpers had turned to tiny brown pieces of metal crumbs. My gas tank fell off on the street as I drove down the road because the metal brace had rusted away. Even my license plates rusted away. Being a waterman, there is no way to avoid the saltwater corroding away everything metal. Rust eventually wears and tears things down until they are tiny bits of brown. I want to create something that will last out of the things that will disappear in time.  
art by Jacob BowenI started out with looking at how nature could be combined or used to make art. I drew my inspiration from artist Tim Knowles who creates images from trees and nature. I knew I wanted to do something similar to this. I started out experimenting and ended up with a rusty piece of metal and left it out on a piece of paper with a little bit of water. When I saw the image that the rust had stained on the paper, I knew what I wanted to do. I found several pieces of metal and tried different ways to tweak and arranged them. I would lay the metal object over a piece of paper or canvas and apply saltwater mixed with vinegar. The two combined sped up the rusting process. I would then add more objects over the original imprint to obtain a design that fit well with life by the water. I gained more inspiration from artist Tony Reason who works with rust painting and imprints similar to my work. There is no guarantee that each object will create the same imprint every time and so the process is filled with a lot of trial and error. My goal is to create something that will last even if the piece that created it is falling apart. I want to make memories of these objects, and hope to do the same to a part of my truck when it no longer runs.  

works of art by Jacob Bowen