The collage paintings within “Abandoned” are inspired by buildings around the globe which are deserted—either literally or figuratively. The textures I create within these works reflect the deterioration of the façades themselves as they age and remain neglected. One layer is worn away to reveal another and yet another. These deserted structures not only have an environmental impact on their communities, but an emotional one as well. To me, they are simultaneously haunting and engaging.

My work stems from a deep appreciation and respect for nature. Within my paintings, I explore the juxtaposition of nature, man, and the divine. I build these pieces with acrylics combined with recycled everyday objects such as old textbook pages, newspapers, wood and metal fragments, even repurposed paintings. These elements remind me of the rich histories surrounding these former factories, dwellings, or commercial enterprises. I have also integrated various symbolic words, phrases and scripture verses.

Standing as remnants of eras gone by, these buildings take on a life of their own. They become homes for the homeless, wildlife habitats, storage facilities, workshops, or creative studios. Sometimes they find a new purpose entirely.

In Poland, an ediface may become a support for a billboard, completely covering the old with the new. In one instance, the interior of a 1912 modernistic tenement house was converted into a hospital and then recently, into an "Escape Plan" game. Often, a scaffold is erected with a net, or trough, to protect unsuspecting passersby from falling architectural remains. At times, I wondered which was more dangerous—the tumbling façade or the ramshackle scaffold itself.

The artwork I create addresses concepts of consumerism, stewardship, and the paradox of independence/dependence within our societal landscape. Through the subject matter of my work, I invite the audience to contemplate our attitudes, priorities and responsibilities. I feel compelled to paint these contemplative landscapes because they speak to me of the delicate balance we walk with nature, and with ourselves.

Copyright © 2016 Heidi Fowler. All rights reserved.