Artist Isadora Stowe’s work explores the landscape of the mind as it relates to the physical environment. She creates an all-encompassing vision with a visual vocabulary that is personal and builds on the universal.
Experiencing an installation by Isadora Stowe is like stepping into the inner recesses of the mind. Objects, images, and symbols float off the surface of the wall like free associations passing through one’s consciousness, bathed by dazzling splashes of colored light, only to reappear again in another context, like some kind of uncanny déjà vu.
Stowe’s interests lie in exploring the landscape of the mind as it relates to the physical environment. As an artist from the Southwest, living and working between New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico, Stowe is attuned to the psychological effects of the borderlands, identity formation, and geopolitical tensions of this region. In her work, she focuses on the mechanisms by which we build these concepts in our minds, how we negotiate our relationships with the external world, and construct our identities through the use of symbolism, codes, and everyday objects.
This process takes the form of a “narrative syntax” of objects that she creates and repeats through different media: screen-printing, watercolor, spray paint, stencils, gouache, acrylic, ink, and light-sensitive paint. The circular forms of her paintings on layered Baltic birch wood reference the “cyclical nature of life,” while the repetition of objects and motifs resembles the workings of memory, and allows viewers to make their own connections and associations. “These visions allow us to re-see, reconfigure, and reexamine who we are today,” she writes in her artist statement. The resulting work is an all-encompassing vision and environment, with a visual vocabulary that is both personal and builds on the universal.
Stowe has exhibited widely and is represented in many collections across the country and in Mexico. Stowe is a recipient of the Edwina and Charles Milner Women in the Arts award, which will support her solo exhibition Beacon at Western New Mexico University in 2022.