As someone who lived in seven different houses as a child, physical location always played a major role in my identity. Twice in my life, my family moved to a different state in the middle of a particularly formative school year, something that shaped my inclination towards transience as an adult. Since moving out at the age of seventeen, I have lived in four different countries, three different states in the U.S., nine different cities, and sixteen different apartments. Because of this near-constant relocation, my personal identity has always been deeply linked to the geographical places where I have lived, and the memory of physical place becomes deeply ingrained in my own perception of self. By considering how location is represented, I create visual art that depicts place through abstraction and layers personal memory with physical representations of geography.

 

My work uses concepts of memory and place to explore other elements of personal identity, particularly loss and femininity, which are of particular interest to me due to the early death of my mother. Attending my mother’s funeral when I was four years old is one of my earliest memories. The timing of her death, which occurred weeks before what would have been her 30th birthday, resulted in my perception of a mother eternally frozen in the prime of her life. My relationship with my deceased mother has led to a deep fascination with the concepts of motherhood and feminine relationships as well as the way that my limited personal memories of my mother have influenced my identity.

 

With the influence of these associations between my mother’s life and my own identity, I use writing excerpts and minimalist line drawings to depict geographical locations that explore connections between memory and identity. I primarily work in the book format to create a portable universe, reflecting the constant state of flux in which I live. This also allows for tactile and physical representation of location in conjunction with abstract and artistic representations of memory and identity. My goal is to allow viewers to explore the concepts of place and identity as they move through sequential narratives created within the pages of my books. To this end, I utilize printmaking processes, hand papermaking, and acrylic ink painting as well as various mixed media approaches to book production.  
 

©2020 by Gina Fowler. Proudly created with Wix.com