Bowerbird Exhibitions, Art Gallery of Alberta, 2014 page 1 go to page 2
22 min. video of Bowerbird

Tracing Tides: a Topographical Investigation 2001

Lyndal Osborne: Bowerbird, Life as Art is a survey exhibition of the work of Lyndal Osborne. The exhibition traces the over 40-year career of this nationally renowned Edmonton artist. Osborne immigrated to Canada from Australia in 1971 in order to teach at the University of Alberta. There, she was instrumental in establishing both the printmaking program during the 1970s as well as the Print Study Centre, which opened in 1997.

Lyndal Osborne began her career as a printmaker, having studied at the National Art School in Sydney, Australia and the University of Wisconsin, where she earned an MFA in printmaking. The exhibition begins with examples of Osborne's large airbrush drawings that date from the mid-1970s, and a variety of print works that represent the artist's production over the twenty-year period from 1975 to 1995.

The year 1995, however, marks a significant moment of change in the artist's work. At this time, Osborne recognized the latent potential of the objects that she had been making as models or subject matter of her print works. These sculptural creations are often densely woven, deeply layered constructions of natural and manufactured materials. They reference and recall the forms, shapes and processes of the natural world, but they are wholly of the artist's imagination.

Like the Bowerbird, Osborne observes, collects and manipulates material from the world around her. In doing so, however, she provokes us to look more closely at the natural world and asks us to think about the places and the ways in which we live. Consistent in all of her work is a fascination with the processes of growth and decay, of life and death. Her work speaks of the possibility of infinite transformation and change, yet, also reminds us to remember the fragility and impermanence of the world and our existence within it.

Catherine CrowstonExecutive Director / Chief Curator Art Gallery of Alberta


Surge, 1995-2008 (Prints from 1973-1996, Tableaux 1996-right)


Surge 1995-2008 (Prints from 1973-1996, Tableaux 1996-right)


Tableaux for Transformation 1998


Tableaux for Transformation 1998 (detail)


Point of Departure 1996 (detail)


Nature of Matter, 1996 lithographs/natural objects

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