Typically, this season brings with it associations of new beginnings, flowers opening to herald the end of dark and colder days, and we emerge from our winter hibernations reinvigorated by the promise of brighter times ahead. Clichés aside, never has the sense of spring awakening been keener than now. The promise of renewed acquaintances and greater personal freedom lies tantalisingly close, as does the imminent upturn in commerce thanks to businesses reopening across the UK.
This issue, poignantly titled ‘Save The Arts’, has given the team at Castle Fine Art cause to sit back and reflect on how truly fortunate they have been, in weathering the storm over this past turbulent year. While they may have had to work behind closed doors or from their homes for a great deal of it, here is a group of people who recognise how fortunate they are to have opened once more – when so many haven’t, and won’t. So it was with a great deal of excitement and renewed optimism that the team was able to open the doors to their gallery and welcome back their much-missed collectors, and friends, once more.
They have been keen to showcase all the brand new artwork that was released during lockdown, and bring this plethora of stunning new sculptures, limited editions and original artworks to their visitors. Excitingly, they also have a brand new artist to introduce… Alfie Bowen. Take note, this is a name to remember. 2021 is already shaping up to be a year of great significance, destined to be remembered for countless years to come, for a multitude of reasons (some we’ve already touched upon above). For Alfie, it will no doubt come to mean a great many things, inevitably tantamount to a period of great change and flux.
Alfie’s emergence onto the art scene has been nothing short of phenomenal thus far, achieving unprecedented recognition and acclaim for his fine art photography. His now-established aesthetic is formulated by delivering an achingly beautiful composition designed to tell a story within a single frame. Think of Alfie’s portraiture as the visual representation of Sir David Attenborough’s much loved narrations in a solitary snapshot, and you won’t be too wide of the mark.
Alfie’s fascination with animals began in childhood, and his enduring love for his subject matter radiates from within his work; authentic, respectful and insightful. First experimenting with photography in 2014, he saw it as a natural progression from the hours of quiet observation he had conducted at animal sanctuaries and wildlife parks across the UK. Crucially, at a time when his autism made him a target for bullying and life became unbearable, photography became Alfie’s escape, and he credits the art form with ultimately saving his life.
One of the many reasons that Alfie’s photography captures people’s imaginations, and attention, is the sheer amount of time he devotes to achieving the exact shot he has envisaged for a particular subject. Renowned conservationist, presenter and author Chris Packham had this to say: “Alfie is a special photographer — he sees his subjects rather than just looking at them, he not only responds to their form, but also to their feeling. He has a keen eye for detail, ultra-detail, not in terms of resolution, but in terms of connection and emotion. And that is a rare and magnificent success.”
Much of this new work will appear in his new book – called Wild World: Nature Through An Autistic Eye – due to be published later this year. Happily, we need not wait until then to experience the animal kingdom through Alfie’s singular gaze. His debut limited editions, each hand-signed and presented in expertly-chosen framing by our in-house team, are now available to view in the gallery.
Castle Fine Art has never been more delighted to invite you to pop into the gallery the next time you’re passing, to say hello, stay for a drink and enjoy all the fantastic artwork that they haven’t been able to show you during the last few months.
Castle Fine Art
Grand Arcade, St David’s Dewi Sant