My collage paintings and assemblages are all constructions within a series I have entitled “Detrimorphose.” These works depict the power of brokenness and redemption. Each piece gives new life to that which has been cast aside. My artwork combines everyday objects such as junk mail, plastic findings, old computer parts and plastic grocery bags with traditional art materials. Inspired by grids, geometric patterns, and quilts, they explore the nature of time as well as innovative reinvention. My new pieces build on, yet simultaneously, strip away what I have created in past years.
My most recent work, No. 031.12.023 (Consider the Lilies), reflects on a passage from the Sermon on the Mount. The flowers of the field are clothed in such splendor that even the wisest and richest king pales in comparison. This analogy encourages the reader to give over the cares of this world and I have found great comfort in it. The lilies in the artwork are built using patterned junk mail envelopes suggesting security, trust and protection. The overall composition plays with positive and negative space. The viewer may notice the lilies are actually created using the void, or negative space, as a positive attribute. There is beauty in simplicity.
Through the use of these materials, I hope to inspire a greater consciousness and creativity towards the paraphernalia we would otherwise discard. The artwork I create addresses concepts of stewardship, consumerism, and the paradox of independence/dependence within our societal landscape. Concurrently, they incorporate themes of family, community and teamwork as the individual pieces are reconnected to create a larger purpose. I feel compelled to build these works because they speak to me of the delicate balance we walk with our environment, nature, and with ourselves.
Her work has been included in a wide variety of private, corporate and public collections including the University of Virginia, the District of Columbia City Hall, and Dominion Resources. She has had solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia in Virginia Beach, Greater Reston Arts Center in Reston, VA and Arlington Arts Center, Arlington, VA. She has exhibited in numerous venues including the US Embassy Kiev, Ukraine, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, CA; American University Museum at Katzen Arts Museum, Washington, DC, Washington Project for the Arts, Washington, D.C.; Riddenhof Martin Gallery, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA; North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC; McLean Project for the Arts, McLean, VA and the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, Augusta, GA. Heidi Fowler currently lives and works in Northern Virginia.