John Dowie, painter, sculptor and teacher, was born in Adelaide and studied architecture at the University of Adelaide, and painting with Marie Tuck and Ivor Hele (q.v.). After service with the Military History Section of the A.I.F, and a time as assistant to the official war sculptor, Lyndon Dadswell, Dowie studied sculpture in London and Florence. On his return to Australia, he lectured at the South Australian School of Arts and Crafts from 1954 to 1962.
Dowie, who is best known through his many sculpture commissions, is also a talented painter whose expertise is shown in his two works in the Carrick Hill Collection.
Ursula Hayward (q. v.) was interested in all forms of art, and attended many classes. She arranged for Dowie to give tuition in sculpture at Carrick Hill to her and a group of friends.
Dowie's naturalistic ST. VINCENT'S GULF, NOON, 1945, shows a relaxing scene that could be any jetty on St. Vincent's Gulf. Thick, expressive brushwork produces a refreshing spontaneity as people promenade or try their luck at fishing. The calm sea in the background has encouraged some of the figures to "drop their lines" on that side of the jetty. Except for one small person, they seem oblivious to the fish visible in the rough waves on the other side.
Although the title states that it is "noon", the "rugged-up" figures, and the absence of the striking brightness of an Australian summer sun, would indicate that fishing devotees will try their luck at any season.