ARTIST STATEMENT by Emily Louise Howard
There is a little room in a small corner of a very large world. It belongs to a girl named Lonna Stowe. This is the site of her research, obsessions, dreaming, planning, and creating. She is at once a child and a shaman, an explorer and a scientist, a poet and a warrior, a girl and a king. Her surroundings reflect those roles.
Lonna Stowe is the main character of an original folk tale, though I use the term “original” rather loosely. While it is true that the characters are from my mind and the concept for the story grew organically from my history, drawings and dreams, the essential elements of the tale are nothing new. Abandonment, liberation, sacrifice, blood rites, the presence of a guardian/guide, a magic world existing just a few short steps from the one we know… these themes and ideas have appeared in myths, folk tales and legends since the beginning of Story. They occur over centuries and in lands separated by oceans. This story is just one volume in an endless, universal library of heroes and villains, but it is my story.
My work is an amalgamation of many elements, a patchwork quilt of personal histories and desires. Through the making of this body of work, I explore my Appalachian ancestry and the domestic practices therein, my Cherokee bloodlines, oral storytelling (in European, Appalachian and Native American traditions), and the brutal and naked hope that is the essence of childhood.