"Pete Bowes was a Bondi boy who moved up to Byron Bay in 1963. Between Bondi and Byron Bay, Pete crossed tracks with a rogues’ gallery – surfers, itinerants, brawlers, the lost – all of them lovingly hand-painted by Pete’s pen. His short vignettes in Bloodlines are visceral, teeth rattling, funny and even true, and they stretch from then to now and this horizon to that, from the poetic to the poignant to the hilarious."
From the introduction to this edition:
In Jackson Pollock and the washaway dunes Peter Bowes writes:
'Pollock must have had the eyes of a housefly to see the same thing close-up as from a distance. Or the sight of an eagle drifting this way and that, three miles high in the moving air, with its fixed and magnified square of killing vision centred on a patch of tussock grass far below, and the rabbit lunching there.'
This intensity of observation marks the true writer’s eye as much as it does the artist’s or eagle’s, and to read Bowes’ work is very often to focus on ‘a fixed and magnified square’: the minutiae of unnoticed lives; unmarked losses; small triumphs; private griefs; and unexpected joys.
There are many treasures to be discovered here. Bowes’ canvas is rich with life and the living of it; filled with colour and complexity, light and shade, and the interrelatedness of all things: much like the Pollock creations he so admires. ‘This life,’ as Bowes observes, ‘so she passes us by.’ And underlying it all, woven throughout, the ineffable mystery of what it is to be human.
(Please note: some of these pieces contain strong language)