Lowndes, Gillian
Gillian Lowndes operated on the border 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. Untitled, 1976 is from an important period for Lowndes, in which she began to use hand-building processes to construct intricate, basket-like pieces and complex architectonic structures. She used stacks of rolled clay and experimented with string and strips of fabric, dipping these in porcelain slip before firing. This marks a symbolic moment in her practice, as it was the first time she incorporated non-ceramic materials into her work. The piece retains the language of clay while referencing textiles – the legacy of her time in Nigeria in the early 1970s, where the West African art she experienced had a natural combination of different materials. This experience had a profound influence on Lowndes, prompting a major turning point in her career.
  • Artwork Details: 19 x 33 x 33cm
  • Edition:
  • Material description: Rolled clay dipped in porcelain slip
  • Credit line: © the estate of Gillian Lowndes
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  • Accession number: ACC41/2018



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