"Using Middle America as her muse, Kowch draws the history of a particular place -- invariably rural -- to the surface as it collides with a new reality in layers of metaphor and moodiness. The faces of her women may remind you of characters in a Tim Burton film."
--Steve Parks, Newsday

Friday, October 12, 2007

"Blackbirds Are Gathering"
24" x 36" Acrylic on canvas

This latest piece is a further exploration of my interest in symbolism, and how to fuse various forms of subject matter to create a cohesive image that ultimately tells a story. My initial idea behind this one expands upon the issue of change - whether it's positive or negative. That is up to the viewer. Some can gain a feeling of freedom, or a feeling of fear, or even sadness. For me, it signals the changes that are taking place in our environment, which, as a result, ultimately brings about change in our lives. For some reason, I have always had a particular love for rural American countrysides since I was a kid. Seeing so many farms going up for sale only to be purchased and turned into parking lots is devastating to me. I used the autumn landscape as a metaphor for nature, and how, as large and powerful as it is, it's beginning to experience a decline. The hill stands tall and wide, but it's no longer green and abundant. I used autumn as a way to form a connection with that concept, since it is that time of year when growth in nature starts coming to an end.

I suppose the human figure can represent whatever the viewer wants it to be. It could stand for those of us who try to hold on to what we have despite what reality we face, or it could represent a certain degree of obliviousness to reality. It could even represent those who remain hopeful despite everyone else giving up and moving on. Whatever you want it to be. One of my major goals is to leave my images open-ended, in order to allow others to form their own interpretations and come to their own conclusions. The title is a literal English translation of an American Indian word for October, that I came across (possibly from the Crow language?? Wish I knew for sure, but I don't. . . Baaxiile liwátxaauk was the phrase). At any rate, I don't think that any other name could be more suitable.


Lauren Moyer said...

i love this piece sooo much... if you make prints... i want one!! and the idea behind it, you know i love. stupid urban sprawl when there are so many beautiful, old buildings in the city abandoned.

i love the country. my favorite part is driving by old wood barns and watching them decay and collapse over the years. they fall in such a interesting way. it's almost a natural way of reclaiming.

i can't wait to see what you have for tuesday!

Dave Chow Illustrations said...

Enjoy this picture now! It's also going to be in the April issue of CMYK. This was one of the pieces selected from the competition! CONGRATS!