Artist Spotlight: Q&A with Fiona Bowen

Self Reflection Through Photography


Savanna Eickerman

Fiona Bowen, an EvCC student, was inspired to study photography by her mother and grandmother, who were both professional photographers.

Fiona Bowen is an EvCC photography student currently working on earning an Associate in Fine Arts (AFA), and hopes to continue pursuing photography after that. “I think your interpretation is as good as mine,” said Bowen about her photography. Bowen’s own interpretation of her work often focuses on the self-reflective side, seeing parts of herself in the art that she produces. But Bowen hopes, and encourages other people to form their own impressions from her photos.

How long have you been doing your work?
I’ve been doing art in general since I was a kid, I grew up in a house full of artists. I’ve been doing multimedia, drawing and painting since I was very little. I started doing photography as an art when I decided to get my degree in it last year. I had dabbled in photography before, but I didn’t really use it as an art form. I would use it in mixed-media art, like [with] other people’s photographs.

But my mom and grandmother are both professional photographers, so I thought, “I could do it too.” I wanted to get my degree in something that I wasn’t as familiar with as an art form, but that I felt like I could do.

What program are you working on in EvCC?
I’m working with Nancy [Jones] and Ellen [Felsenthal] in the photography program, and they’re both fantastic teachers. I’m hoping to get my AFA in photography.

What do you want to do after that?
I would like to be able to continue with photography, maybe product or portrait photography. I know that with the skills that I have from the [photography] program, I can definitely go get a job in Seattle as a retoucher, but I’m hoping to build my portfolio and maybe start doing photos for magazines, maybe rock shows.

How would you describe your work to other people?
It depends on what they’re looking at. It’s self reflective. I put a bit of myself in each piece of work, as I’m sure everyone does. I feel like if you look at a piece of mine, you can see who I am as a person.

What message does your art send?
With some pieces I just want to show who I am as a person. But with others [it’s about] sending a message about a political stance, or something that is happening in the world.

Do you have any artists or photographers that inspire you?
I’m really inspired by Annie Leibovitz, the portrait photographer. She mostly does her work in Vanity Fair. I really like Ansel Adams, [he] is a great landscape photographer. I mean, my parents, they’re both artists, so looking back on my own work I see a lot of their influence. My grandmother is also an influence. And then I’m just inspired by music and other peoples art, like fashion, seeing what other people do and re-interrupting it in my own style

What else would you like people to know about your work?
I think your interpretation is as good as mine. If you see something in something that I make, all art is interpretive and my interpretation of my art isn’t necessarily the right one. Everyone should be able to interpret art as they see it.

But just have fun with it. Be able to look at art like, ‘well, it makes me feel this way,’ even if it’s not what the artist intended. That’s what’s great about art. I think that is what I want people to understand, interpret art the way you want, man!

“The Hozier Series” is an ongoing project of Bowen’s. The series is currently untitled, but is referred to by the name mentioned above by Bowen.


“I created this series for my Photo 243 Final, in spring quarter. The individual scenes were each inspired by a song by Hozier, from his first and second studio albums,” said Bowen in a statement on the project, “and by the work of Nix & Gerber, a photographer and her partner who create intricately detailed dioramas.”

“[These were] hand built by me over three days. I wanted to present the world I saw through Hozier’s music, rich and peaceful, with a hint of chaos and uncertainty underneath.”