Rowan Corkill was born in Scotland in 1986. He received a BA in photography & Electronic media at Robert Gordons University, Aberdeen. Followed by an MSC in Sound Art & Design at Duncan of Jordanston University, Dundee. Rowan Corkill has exhibited nationally and internationally with shows in Europe, North & South America and Canada. The artist has been working with nature as a prominent theme since 2010.
Rowan Corkills artistic practice is focused around mankind’s relationship with nature, both past and present. The artists research is centred on the ethnographical exploration of different cultures and civilisations, many of which are firmly rooted in a deep relationship with nature. By exploring different cultures, the artist has been able to learn how the human species has understood and interpreted nature over thousands of years through complex mythologies and symbolisms. This seems ever more prominent in a world where science and technology are at the forefront of our gaze, with the natural world becoming increasingly distant and our relationship with nature slowly dissipating.
Materials play a strong role in the artists practice, particularly the use of animal and plant materials which are collected and used in most of his works. Animal hides and skins are incorporated into sculptural works through taxidermy techniques which the artist has practiced for over 10 years. These taxidermy pieces do not fit within standard notions of the art form, instead of favouring the realism of Victorian taxidermy his works draw more from ethnographical objects such as African Nkisi objects or Nagaland head trophies. The use of taxidermy in his work acts as a foundation on which to apply materials, most of which are imbued with symbolic meanings which elevate the objects beyond the norms of the everyday. It is these symbolic references which cultures have applied to almost every facet of the natural world that drives the artist to explore new materials and provides him with a never-ending appreciating for both nature and mankind’s creative interpretations of it.
The works which Rowan Corkill creates posse a sense power as well as fragility, a duality which echoes that of the natural world. In recent sculptural works the artist has explored the protective qualities of materials, both physical and symbolic. The idea of protection has been one of mankind’s most prominent desires from the beginning of time and has manifested its selves in ritualistic objects around the world. Nature often acts as an intermediary between man and the spirit world beyond and It is in these instances that we can truly see the power and respect that nature once held over mankind.
All animals have been ethically sourced.