Gillian Lowndes

Gillian Lowndes was one of the ceramic world’s most daring, radical and original artists of the post-war generation. Working during a period when the majority of practitioners of the medium were concerned with the functional and decorative, Lowndes’ sculptures stand apart through their transgression of the ceramic conventions of the time. Her work was often a result of responding to her immediate environment; in 1970 she moved to Nigeria for eighteen months and this period prompted a major turning point in her career as she witnessed for the first time the combination of different materials in single objects. The Brick Bag series, a watershed moment in her career in the early 1980’s, was the result of witnessing the overflowing piles of plastic bin liners that accumulated in London during the waste collectors’ strike between 1978 and 1979.

Lowndes operated on the border territory between fine art and craft, and is renowned for her sensitive investigations of material and process, of serendipity and sculptural form. Pigeonholed by the craft establishment of the time, her work predated the expanded ceramics field of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, while her pioneering transformation of clay and found objects places her firmly in the language and discourse of sculpture, a critical context that remained closed to her in her lifetime. The exhibition at The Sunday Painter will be the largest presentation of her work in London for twenty years and will aim to demonstrate her enduring legacy and influence upon the shifts ceramic practice has undergone.

Essay by Aaron Angell

 

Gillian Lowndes, 1936–2010. Born West kirby, Merseyside. Studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, 1955-58, and Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris, 1958-60. Her work is in numerous international collections, including Bristol Museum Art Gallery, Bristol, British Council, London, Crafts Council, London, Henry Rothschild Collection, Landesmuseum, Stuttgart, Newark Museum, USA, The Anthony Shaw Collection/York Museums Trust, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The Sunday Painter would like to thank Jenny Lowndes and The Anthony Shaw Collection/York Museums Trust for all their generous assistance with the exhibition, and Aaron Angell for his essay written for the exhibition.

Gillian Lowndes, Installation view

Gillian Lowndes

Installation view

2.-Gillian-Lowndes-installation-view, Installation view

2.-Gillian-Lowndes-installation-view

Installation view

3.-Gillian-Lowndes-installation-view, Installation view

3.-Gillian-Lowndes-installation-view

Installation view

_Gillian-Lowndes-installation-view, Installation view

_Gillian-Lowndes-installation-view

Installation view

Gillian Lowndes, Hook Figure, 1994Ceramic, loofahs, hooks 140 x 8 x 12 cm

Gillian Lowndes

Hook Figure, 1994
Ceramic, loofahs, hooks
140 x 8 x 12 cm

Gillian Lowndes, Hook Figure, 1994Ceramic, loofahs, hooks 140 x 8 x 12 cm

Gillian Lowndes

Hook Figure, 1994
Ceramic, loofahs, hooks
140 x 8 x 12 cm

Gillian Lowndes, Tongue, 2008Latex, sand, aluminium, horse hair and metal42 x 6 x 5 cm

Gillian Lowndes

Tongue, 2008
Latex, sand, aluminium, horse hair and metal
42 x 6 x 5 cm

Gillian Lowndes, Installation view

Gillian Lowndes

Installation view

Gillian Lowndes , Wall mounted brick bag, 1981 Melted brick in fibreglass bag, ceramic, wire 58 x 58 x 15 cm

Gillian Lowndes

Wall mounted brick bag, 1981
Melted brick in fibreglass bag, ceramic, wire
58 x 58 x 15 cm

Gillian Lowndes , Installation view

Gillian Lowndes

Installation view

Gillian Lowndes, Almost off the Wall, 2001Ceramic, wire38 x 38 x 19 cm

Gillian Lowndes

Almost off the Wall, 2001
Ceramic, wire
38 x 38 x 19 cm

Gillian Lowndes, Wall mounted Brick Bag, 1981Melted brick in fibreglass bag, ceramic, wire46 x 46 x 14 cm

Gillian Lowndes

Wall mounted Brick Bag, 1981
Melted brick in fibreglass bag, ceramic, wire
46 x 46 x 14 cm

Gillian Lowndes, Scroll, 1995 Fibreglass, metal Large scroll 24 x 39.5 cm, small scroll 15 x 7.5cm

Gillian Lowndes

Scroll, 1995
Fibreglass, metal
Large scroll 24 x 39.5 cm, small scroll 15 x 7.5cm

Gillian Lowndes, Scroll, 1995 Fibreglass, metal Large scroll 24 x 39.5 cm, small scroll 15 x 7.5cm

Gillian Lowndes

Scroll, 1995
Fibreglass, metal
Large scroll 24 x 39.5 cm, small scroll 15 x 7.5cm

Gillian Lowndes, Scroll, 1995 Fibreglass, metal Large scroll 24 x 39.5 cm, small scroll 15 x 7.5cm

Gillian Lowndes

Scroll, 1995
Fibreglass, metal
Large scroll 24 x 39.5 cm, small scroll 15 x 7.5cm

Gillian Lowndes, Installation view

Gillian Lowndes

Installation view

Gillian Lowndes, Installation view

Gillian Lowndes

Installation view

Gillian Lowndes, Collage with cup, 1986 Ceramic, steel strip, Egyptian paste, cup, grog16 x 42 x 12 cm

Gillian Lowndes

Collage with cup, 1986
Ceramic, steel strip, Egyptian paste, cup, grog
16 x 42 x 12 cm

Gillian Lowndes, Collage with whisk, 2000 Whisk, mixed media4 x 36 x 10 cm

Gillian Lowndes

Collage with whisk, 2000
Whisk, mixed media
4 x 36 x 10 cm

Gillian Lowndes, Corrugated Collage, 2009 Clay, horse hair, metal, sand 4 x 23.5 x 19 cm

Gillian Lowndes

Corrugated Collage, 2009
Clay, horse hair, metal, sand
4 x 23.5 x 19 cm

Gillian Lowndes, Folded Off cuts, 1999 Slip dipped and fired fibreglass matting 12 x 20 x 20 cm

Gillian Lowndes

Folded Off cuts, 1999
Slip dipped and fired fibreglass matting
12 x 20 x 20 cm

Gillian Lowndes, For Jenny, 1990-94Collage with extruded clay and can opener 7 x 16 x 8 cm

Gillian Lowndes

For Jenny, 1990-94
Collage with extruded clay and can opener
7 x 16 x 8 cm

Gillian Lowndes, Installation view

Gillian Lowndes

Installation view

Gillian Lowndes, Mesh Collage with Loofah and Hooks, 1991 (detail)Folded wire mesh and Egyptian paste forms, three porcelain hooks and fragment of slip dipped dunlopillo 22 x 29 x 22 cm

Gillian Lowndes

Mesh Collage with Loofah and Hooks, 1991 (detail)
Folded wire mesh and Egyptian paste forms, three porcelain hooks and fragment of slip dipped dunlopillo
22 x 29 x 22 cm

Gillian Lowndes, Installation view

Gillian Lowndes

Installation view

Gillian Lowndes, Installation view

Gillian Lowndes

Installation view

Gillian Lowndes, Installation view

Gillian Lowndes

Installation view

, Princelet Street Miden Collage, 2005Rubber, metal, plaster 17 x 37.5 x 8 cm

Princelet Street Miden Collage, 2005
Rubber, metal, plaster
17 x 37.5 x 8 cm

Gillian Lowndes, Shredded Clay with Claw, 1994 (detail)Bone china, metal, porcelain17 x 19 x 18 cm

Gillian Lowndes

Shredded Clay with Claw, 1994 (detail)
Bone china, metal, porcelain
17 x 19 x 18 cm

Gillian Lowndes, Small collage with puffball,1994Wire mesh, hook, ceramic 4 x 13 x 10 cm

Gillian Lowndes

Small collage with puffball,1994
Wire mesh, hook, ceramic
4 x 13 x 10 cm