What intrigues me as a sculptress is an art that revives the power of simulation. A contemporary sculpture can only enliven artistic phantoms through the recovery of the old and the stripping of its grandeur through bare form. This is an ethical decision. By rejecting pomp, accumulation, and precious materials, the naked structures become a celebration of the mundane; they turn into poetic simulacra. So far, most of my artwork encompasses the relationship between human and form—the anthropomorphic behaviors applied to inanimate objects, and their adhered connotations. I find that through the usage of quotidian and industrial material, an irrefutable connection can be made. After all, we live day to day surrounded by utilitarian materials—vinyl siding, foam insulates, metal frames, linoleum surfaces, etc.
Materiality provides a certain extension to my thoughts that cannot otherwise be interpreted via spoken language or two dimensional representation. It’s the stark presence of an object in space that evokes a personified gesture irresistible to explore. It’s the fact that we can see, touch, and walk around something nonfunctional, yet recognizable and undefined. These sensory outputs come from my interest in seeing everyday materials in a revisited, reworked, and elevated context—the theory that once color and form is manipulated, it no longer abides to its origin. My sculptures use material to draw my audience closer; to be recognizable, but out of place, as they weave a narrative of their own.
Eden McDowell is an installation and object based sculptor living and working in Northampton, Massachusetts. She received her BFA in sculpture from the Maine College of Art in the Spring of 2017. She is a 2018 awardee of the St. Boltoph Club Foundation's Emerging Artist Grant for sculpture and has recently shown her work at the Kelley Stelling Contemporary in Manchester, NH, the ArtRooms Fair in London,UK, and at the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition in Brooklyn, NY. She was selected to curate among the 2017 Thesis Curatorial Team at Maine College of Art and has been granted with an honorable mention from the 2017 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award from the International Sculpture Center.
McDowell’s work encompasses the relationship between human and form—the anthropomorphic behaviors applied to inanimate objects, and their adhered connotations. Her work explores the interconnection between architectural simulation and womanhood through the medium of sculpture. Her current sculptural practice resides within the pioneer valley of western Massachusetts, where she works in a reclaimed mill. Finding inspiration from the everyday details of life among rural and industrial landscapes, McDowell harvests her surroundings into a sculptural context that evokes structure, feminism, and domestic influence.