COBRA: Bella Dower – Delayed Translation
COBRA: Bella Dower – Delayed Translation


Bella Dower

Delayed Translation

CAT Project Space

Exhibition: Wednesday 9 December – Sunday 20 December 2020

Event: Friday 11 December – free but registration essential: click here to book


Neuroscientist David Eagleman (b.1979) theorises that one is always living in the past. There is an unbridgeable gap of half a second between an event occurring, and your conscious experience of it. Our present is then a delayed experience, an immediate past. Our perceived present is thus specious, offering only a slither of the information surrounding us up to our attention.
Through Delayed Translation Bella Dower lingers over the space within the half a second of the act of remembrance. The layers in which our world is perceived and remembered are stretched thin; the fragile membrane of our present is a complex, layered, and shifting reality. Dower’s practice is a hybrid of image making and small-scale sculpture. In this presentation the artist explores both the notion of the present moment as being immediately past, and the assumption of ‘flawed’ recollection.
Delayed Translation is backgrounded by the harrowing experience of a shed fire on the artists parent’s property in 2018. Over 40 years of familial objects, heirlooms and rolls of analogue photographic films were impacted by the fire. The unrepeatable material destruction orchestrated chance compositions in half recognisable images. Transferred to thin fabric and stretched over skeletal frames the layers of ‘skin’ like prints are familiar but also ambiguous and disorientating.


Bella Dower (b.1995 Sweden) is an emerging multidisciplinary artist based in nipaluna/Hobart, Tasmania. Through her, at times wearable, work she contemplates the psychoanalytical mechanisms of body adornment and the power of tactility in conjuring memories and emotions. Dower draws on the scepticism of remembrance and theories associated with the specious present to ultimately concentrate on our personal and collective understanding of memory.


This project was supported through Contemporary Art Tasmania’s Cobra program


Image credit: Bella Dower, Delayed Translation, variable dimensions, scanned partially destroyed analogue 35mm film, 2020.

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