Blue Dharma Fine Art presents The Spirit of the Falls, a new surrealist painting by Bill Bowers. The work features a female figure surrounded by wildlife at WNC’s Looking Glass Falls, and is inspired by Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, the story of Our Lady of Fátima and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
“I hope to give the viewer a sense of awe and inspire them to ask why the spirit woman is there,” says Bowers. “The answer will be unique for each person.”
Though elements of the scene may appear unrelated, it is evident from Bowers’ detailed descriptions that each has been carefully considered and serves a specific purpose. A black bear emerging from her den to witness the feminine water spirit demonstrates the dignity and wisdom Bowers worked to capture in his previous series The Bears of Asheville. Bluegill fish, he explains, are encapsulated in orbs so that they may safely travel from their natural habitat of the state’s major river basins to this cold mountain stream to greet the apparition. A hummingbird hovers within a transport vessel, in what Bowers describes as a tireless pursuit of joy.
“The hummingbird appears as a reminder to stay on track in striving to meet our goals, but also as a reminder to enjoy the process,” he says. “My intention from the start was to create a surreal allegory of earthly life guided by divinity.”
Though Bowers has been inspired for years by the religious paintings of various cultures as well as by the Surrealist movement of the early 20th century, he has only recently begun incorporating the scenery and wildlife of the Blue Ridge Mountains into his work.
“Utilizing flora and fauna with a ghostly apparition as an allegory, I hope to inspire people to believe there is more to life than meets the eye,” he says.
Blue Dharma Fine Art is located at 1 Page Avenue, Suite 137, in Asheville. Regular hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, or by appointment. To learn more, call 941.301.1409 or visit BlueDharmaFineArt.com.