Karen Louise Lowry


Artist Statement

My work is an abstraction of the relationships and environments that envelop my life. Intimately working with line, color, and varying material, I process memory, emotion, and broader conditions of the internal struggle. A palette of layered color is my most effective vehicle for expression and the square canvas provides an ordered landscape for this expedition of creative reflection. The squares lend equality and balance to the work and hold connotations of familial connection and interaction. These symmetrical boundaries frame my process of transposing human and environmental relationships into visual articulation. Abstract aesthetics communicate an emotional truth my words fail to explain.

My most recent work entails repurposing plastic bags-inorganic, human-made material created to the detriment of the environment transformed into compelling representation of that environment. As penance or homage to the natural world, I paint with plastic in layered, blended and often-vibrant metaphors of second chances in interpersonal relationships. Once layered, I sew plastic pieces with a needle and thread, varying stitch sizes and colors with soft nuance that require close inspection and visual intimacy with the viewer.

The bags are gifted from family and friends, and the plastic often becomes an anthropomorphic representation of the gifter. The recycling of the material speaks to broader life stories of starting over and greater victories in the beautiful destruction of past experiences. I explore the tension between fragility and strength in the material and human spirit; the plastic is durable yet easily cut into new shapes and sizes. The needle pierces the plastic, insistently redefining its purpose and structure, and yet the needle itself is a delicate utensil at the liberty of my finger’s force.

My upcoming projects will incorporate further sculptural elements into the work and add light as a component of color layering and relationship subtext. Click HERE to join my mailing list and follow this creative process.


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© 2015 Karen Louise Lowry