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Abby Lowe was born and raised in St. Louis, the daughter of a bass player and art quilter who masquerade respectively as dentist and homemaker. In 2015, she earned a B.A. from Grinnell College in Visual and Narrative Identity. In the summer following graduation, Lowe was accepted into Grin City’s Emerging Artist Residency, where she spent a month on an organic farm in rural Iowa, honing bookbinding techniques and collaborating with fellow artists and writers. She was awarded a Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship by the Grinnell Art Department and got to commit a semester to working on a large-scale installation piece, culminating in a solo show in the student gallery space. She currently working for New City School, an independent elementary school in the Central West End, as the Marketing/Communications Associate.
My work begins with language. Storytelling is the medium through which I locate and practice empathy, so I build imagery and form from words. Some texts I encounter in books or poems, others come spilling from my own head; their transcription and translation has become the repetitive and patient core of my practice— I make small specific gestures again and again until they accumulate to a formidable volume. Whether I am drawing, tracing, cutting, or stitching, it is repetition that engraves time onto my work. It becomes visible in a garment overflowing with hand-drawn patterns, a paper silhouette made lace-like through cutting, handwriting layered to the point of illegibility. Transforming these hours and days of labor into ornate surfaces is how I depict the beauty and difficulty of understanding the world beyond myself.