Artist Spotlight – Oceans Dominate Our Planet



Based in Fremantle in Western Australia, Glen Cowan is a passionate photographer whose inspiration is the oceans and his subjects are the breathtakingly beautiful life forms that live there. He shares his thoughts about the ocean here, and his images showcase to his skills.

Because planet Earth is made up mainly of water, Glen Cowans believes it was wrongly named.

 “I am not quite sure why we call our planet Earth, when more than 70 per cent of its surface is water, and within that water there exists 90 per cent of all our living creatures,” he states.

The figures indicate that the seas, oceans and other waterways dominate our planet.

 An ancient past

“Life on this planet began in water,” Glen says. “And when I am immersed in the ocean it is

as if I am visiting a beautiful alternate realm – so very different from my own. For me, it is a place where you can feel your pulse slow as your senses seem to calm. It is as if you are returning to an ancient past, perhaps one that we share in common with all living creatures.

“To me the obvious name for this planet would be Ocean.”

 It’s hard not to agree: what a beautiful alternative name that could be for our planet.

 “With my photography, I’m trying to share a vicarious journey with the viewer,” Glen says.

“One where you can witness just a mere fraction of the wonders that exist under the surface of our seas and I hope that just like me, that you will discover a beauty far greater than can ever be imagined.”

Born in 1961 in Perth Western Australia, Glen developed his passion for the ocean and all that it holds when he began snorkelling at the age of 10. His interest in photography began in his early 20’s, but it wasn’t until 1994, during his first ventures into scuba diving, that he began capturing images of the ocean through his photography.

In March 2005, the turned his back on a long standing trade background and made the life-changing decision to devote his future to what he loves; the oceans and underwater photography.

His love for the ocean comes with a strong feeling of reverence for this wondrous domain.

Now today with a history of more than 36 exhibitions, a large format coffee table book and his own iconic Studio and Gallery at the Roundhouse in Fremantle, Glen has arguably become one of Australia’s most successful underwater photographers.

His work has been described as taking photography to a new level, bridging the gap between photography and art.

When asked about his philosophy he describes it as “allowing Nature to be the artist. I merely capture, as simply as possible, the seascapes, shapes, colours and life forms of the ocean and allow them to create the masterpiece.”

Invisible forms exposed

Glen’s photography becomes the viewer’s microscope, exposing colour and species with a complexity and sculptural form, normally invisible to the naked eye.

Glen’s works, photographed around the West Australian coast and from many locations all over the world, are presented larger than life as canvas giclee limited edition prints that have become highly sought after additions to collections nationally and in other countries.

Words such as “tranquil” and “calming to the soul” are often used to express the emotions of viewing his photography, and his prints have been warmly welcomed into contemporary and traditional spaces alike.

For more information and to see the complete collection view


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