Bower’s work in demand

CREATING an intricate piece of art from materials which would otherwise be discarded is an art in itself and Shane Bower has mastered this over the years and today his name has become quite popular among individuals and the corporate sector.

“I have been in business about 25 years but focused more on making sculptures and artistic gates when I moved to Savusavu in 1999,” said Mr Bower.

Mr Bower was born and raised in Fiji’s urban capital Suva City where he was introduced to the process of working with metal as a young apprentice at a boat building company.

Today he operates his business known as Shane Bower Metal Fiji which has been attracting followers on his Facebook page.

Information provided on Mr Bower says “combined with an industrious and innovative vision, Shane has become one of Fiji’s most sought-after practising artists expertly working in large and small scale, copper and metal, for both private and corporate clientele.”

At a glance of his work, one would see creatures and organisms mainly related to the ocean and the environment but Mr Bower has done several high profile projects for some huge corporate companies.

His recent project was the copper sun he created for Coca-Cola Amatil (Fiji) Ltd for their newly launched solar project.

Another famous creation of his is the school of dolphins hung suspended in the atrium of the Prouds flagship store in Nadi Town.

Through his various large-scale studies of sea creatures Mr Bower captures movement and grace in perfectly representational and individually unique works.

Custom-made wrought-iron gates offer both security and public / private beautification.

Often featuring carefully considered compositions of flora and fauna, the works are robust and timeless connecting seamlessly to their environment. In linear compositions, his designs are confident manifestations of symmetry and structure whilE more three-dimensional designs, including copper detailing, add depth and personality.

“As far as my sculptures are concerned, I am self-taught. A tutor came from Australia to do a sculpting course for a week at Fiji Institute of Technology which I attended.

“Her focus was on the use of ‘used’ materials such as bicycle chains, nuts, bolts etc. to make unusual sculptures. I didn’t follow her line of teaching but it gave me the idea to develop my own style and make up my own designs,” he said.

Mr Bower said his clientele were both corporate and individuals — with the ratio being probably half and half.

“I work according to the orders I receive but I also do sculptures for sale and these are displayed in the Art Gallery in Savusavu or on my Facebook page.

“I get quite a few enquiries from overseas customers — mainly in response to a post on my FB page,” said Mr Bower.

Some of his creations such as a rose made of copper, reef cod sculptor, iguana and tuna sculptor are priced from $ 285 to $990 while his larger creations such as sliding gates and grille doors would cost about $995 to $8950.

In terms of creating employment Mr Bower has people who help him with cutting materials, sanding and so on but he does all the sculpting work himself.

A brief introduction of his work describes Mr Bower’s intricate attention to detail and craftsmanship make for tactile, beautiful objects, ideal for homes and offices.

Mr Bower’s Fijian takia series explore a full palette of warm copper hues from hot pink to smouldering oranges.

According to Mr Bower his figurative works, reflecting on everyday life in Fijian villages, embody a rich contrast between the subtleties of human movement realised in blackened, industrial metal.

He said from large-scale sculpture to decorative gates and home décor, his innovative signature style had come to represent high quality craftsmanship and a confident understanding of metal in all its forms.

Mr Bower’s work has become very popular on Facebook and soon people would get the chance to see his work on display at an art exhibition next month.

“I am working with Waisiliva Gallery on this exhibition it’s a collaboration with Alice Hill from Hot Glass Fiji based in the Coral Coast. We are working together on an exhibition where we are collaborating on several pieces but will also feature our own individual work. The exhibition will occur in August.”

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