/ / Artist Bios 2021

Over three decades, Sam Gowing has turned her creative talents to diverse and eclectic projects in Melbourne, Sydney and now in the Gold Coast. After graduating in art in Sydney she participated in various group shows, exhibiting painting and sculptural works, and art installations exploring the fragility of self. Her keen interest in the environment and love of the ocean has recently turned this focus outwards to the susceptibility of fellow creatures on this planet. She is an avid whale watcher and, from her hometown of Burleigh Heads, volunteers during the humpback whale migration period to survey and collect information about current numbers and whale behaviours.

Sam combines cane, paper, canvas and cloth with natural glues and resin to create free-flowing ethereal sculptures. Rather than trying to convey the colour, weight and bulk of sea creatures, she invites the light, and the viewer, to enter the hollow bodies of the creatures, and to view the tense fragile structures that hold them together. In presenting us with moments frozen in time, instants of joyful weightlessness, Sam is interested how we can view the whales anew, and develop empathy, and be part of their world.

In recent years Sam has worked extensively in product development, and as a freelance graphic designer, guiding brands and products (e.g. giftware, home-wares, jewellery, apparel and toys) from conception to production, while managing their websites, social media content and direct digital marketing. She is the lynchpin for many events in the arts and business world, overseeing product launches, trade fairs (local, interstate and overseas), board presentations, exhibition stand designs, props, set up, logistics and operations. Sam continues to teach and run creative workshops for children and adults.


2021 SWELL ARTWORK – Whale Playground – Breach | Pec Wave | Spy Hop | Fluke Up Dive | Round Out, Sam Gowing

Gold Coast based sculptor, Sam Gowing, is a keen amateur cetologist — she loves studying whales. During migration season Sam spends days logging whale behaviour along our coast. With ‘Whale Playground’ Sam brings the elegance of these magnificent creatures ashore, capturing the exhilaration of five fleeting moments of interaction. They have entered our realm, so we can be part of their play. Using translucent materials that let sunlight illuminate their intricate internal structures, Sam also hints at the fragility of these massive creatures in our world.


SWELL Kids Artist Statement – Whale Playground – Breach | Pec Wave | Spy Hop | Fluke Up Dive | Round Out, Sam Gowing

Five “Humpback Whale” behaviours that we most commonly see performed are:
Breach – full body launches out of the water
Pec Wave – the pectoral fin waves
Spy Hop – pokes head out of water
Fluke Up Dive – the fluke/tail is lifted out of water before a deep dive
Peduncle Arch – a round out of the body before a deep descent


Instagram: @gowing.sam

Website: www.samism369.com/sculptures-events

Come and see for yourself at SWELL Sculpture Festival, Pacific Parade, Currumbin 10-19 September.