Since early days, Humphrey Bowden was fascinated by shape and form. It started with painting, but rapidly developed into designing and making things: working models lamps turned wooden boxes, carvings and then larger things. He particularly loved organic flowing shapes and was an enthusiast of Art Nouveau. However instead of going to art school, he was persuaded to go to Cambridge to study physics and later to research into metallurgy. He then went into industry to design and develop new products for large companies, but always wanted to get back to making his own designs.
Finally 20 years ago he took the plunge, inspired by the idea of making fountains in plant shapes. Her realised that the slender shapes of plants could be achieved by working a ductile metal such as copper and developed a number of techniques to get the shapes he wanted. He aims for the natural forms of trees and other plants, which allow the water to become part of the plant, emerging anf following its shape, rather than squirting out as jets. By controlling the water flow carefully he is able to get beautiful visual effects as the streams and drops glisten in the light. It is also possible to get wonderfully gentle sounds with great variation as water falls into water.
Early fountain designs were commissioned for show gardens at the Hampton Court and Chelsea Flower shows. Other commissions built up rapidly in the UK, mainly for private gardens, but also for public and commercial spaces. His work is now in several countries in Europe, in North America, the Far East, Africa and Russia. He exhibits annually at the Hampton Court Show.
There has been extensive coverage of his work in the media in recent years, both articles (see Press heading) and numerous photographs. A Meridian TV program presented by Joe Swift (Screened 2004 to 2007) featured his fountains and the garden of his wife, Isabelle. There has also been coverage in Japanese and Danish TV programs, as well as a book "Masters in Landscape and Public sculpture" (see Press)
Photo by Diana Poole