There is a new kind of reality manifesting itself in the galleries of CCAS Gorman House. Ladders and hammers you may think, but its all an illusion. Rachel Bowak’s stainless steel creations bend our perception in striking new ways changing the way we think of the object. Trained in gold and silver smithing, Bowak has a unique take on object making by creating objects that are in fact a shadow or an outline of what they appear to be. A sledge hammer appears to have smashed a hole in the wall, but upon closer inspection, one finds that this is in fact not a sledge hammer at all. It is a ghost hammer, the outline suggesting the mass and form of what a sledge hammer is expected to be. But in itself, this sculpture is but a two dimensional outline. The interaction between the object and its surrounding environment illuminates an extraordinarily creative new way of looking and thinking about objects. Their uses seem obvious: a ladder to climb on, a broom to sweep with. But, no this is not what you think, these are only ghosts that haunt us as we are confronted to realize the way our expectations of what an object should be clouds the possibilities of what an object can become.
Adapted from catalogue essay by Isabelle Morgan; photograph by Brenton McGeachie.