ARTIST STATEMENT: BOTANICALS
“Amy Lowry’s oil and watercolor floral portraits depict a narrative arc of biological existence, from bud and bloom to ripeness and ruin, in a single bouquet. It is the fullness of this lifecycle that compels Lowry to observe, compose, and paint these flowers. And here we are—existing as we do, breathing and breeding, growing and yielding, always in nature and of nature too.
Lowry grows the lilies in her garden outside of her art studio in Camden, Maine. Although a daylily’s blooms last just a single day, the genus has thrived for centuries. The ancient Chinese cultivated day lilies as a pain medication even before they developed a written language, as if they knew by instinct that beauty could soothe suffering. We, too, do not question the impulse to push our faces into a flower. It is an intimate exchange. As we inhale, Lowry’s flowers exhale. Look closely and you will see a plume of energy releasing from a virile stamen or sighing from a spent bloom. This is its life force, or qi, which gives expression to its unique form, and to ours. It eventually expends its mortal container and flees. “The force that through the green fuse drives the flower,” wrote Dylan Thomas, “drives my green age.”
The artworks exhibited in “The Force” are the culmination of Lowry’s yearlong exploration of painting in watercolor. After studying under Susan Van Campen, a master watercolorist based in Thomaston, Maine, Lowry gained an intimate understanding of the medium’s subtle characteristics. She harmonized these insights with her own life and artistic experiences, and now presents the classic botanical genre infused with personal symbolism. The day lilies, milkweed pods and other blooms have become a natural extension of Lowry’s 20-year career as a working artist.” –Jason Foumberg
The Force is dedicated to the memory of Donald Young 1942-2012
ARTIST STATEMENT: SNAPS
2012 marked my 50th annual return to Maine, where I have a painting studio and a farmhouse in Camden.
As a child my family and I often traveled by car from the Midwest, inching our way up Route 1 to Camden, where my grandmother owned an antique shop. The journey through that landscape remains inscribed in my memory, inseparable from my experiences. This series is comprised of small collages styled as Polaroid snapshots. Each one references a place or experience of Maine, culled from my memory.
I spend the winter months in Chicago, working primarily with oil on canvas, and often use sketches and photographs of the Mid Coast area. One day a discarded palette caught my eye – the stains, smears, and colorful admixtures on wax paper evoked a topography that was abstracted yet familiar. I cropped the dried palettes, modified them, and soon images emerged that suggested roads, fields, mountains and streams. I named them after familiar places: Rockport Harbor, Ragged Mountain, Biddeford Pool, Maids Beach.
The residue of one painting became the core of another.
ARTIST STATEMENT: CAKES
My mosaic work combines glass, tile, china, and found objects in free form technique known as Pique Assiette. The shapes, colors and textures dictate a composition that is both abstract and instinctual. There is often a history in my work, as I have kept chips and shards of china from various times and events of my life.
After being part of the Cool Globes event in Chicago, I was inspired to create art to help draw attention to our natural and political environment. The cakes explore the premise of reverse functionality – taking a recognizable object and giving it a contradictory meaning. Cake by definition is a soft item of food made of sugar, eggs, and flour, and often decorated. These cakes are made of shards of glass, ceramic and tile. Their subjects range from endangered wildlife and climate change, to commentary on our current political situation. In this case the viewer is attracted to the cake as a familiar item most often associated with joy, comfort, and celebration. Upon closer inspection, the viewer realizes that these cakes are not meant to celebrate, but to draw attention to serious issues.