Re:New Wallace Collection


Alison Lowry

7 April – 4 May 2018

Preview: Sat 7 April 2-4 pm – All Welcome!

Celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of Sir Richard Wallace, this is the first collaboration between Lisburn’s R –Space Gallery and the Wallace Collection in London. The Collection is housed in 25 galleries and comprises French 18th Century painting, furniture and porcelain and a world class armoury. And it’s the armoury in particular that has inspired artist Alison Lowry’s week long residency at the collection.

R-Space co-director Anthea McWilliams says:

I am delighted that glass artist Alison Lowry has been selected for this, the first residency programme at the Wallace Collection. We are really excited about the new body of work she will create in response to the collection, all of which will exhibited at R –Space in April. I have a long relationship with the Curators at Hertford House, since I completed my Masters in Cultural Management in 2001. The focus of my research was on the cultural and historical legacy of Richard Wallace in Lisburn, MP for the area, celebrated philanthropist and art collector; possibly one of the best art history stories for Northern Ireland to be proud of! To that end we plan to repeat the residency on an annual basis, funding permitting.

Lowry, though an artist primarily working in glass, is also interested in textiles, especially clothing. For her clothing is photographic, bearing the imprint of the people who have worn it. Not just the physical imprint of their bodies, but indicators of the culture about them, of their choices and the choices made for them; dictated by fashion and societal and financial structures. As the artist puts it: “Fabric preserves the essence of its maker; traces of its wearer become entwined with the warp and the weft, allowing physical objects to become containers for memory.”

Glass too throws up a myriad of possibilities for the artist, in both thought and practice. For her “(A) Dress” show she produced an installation piece consisting of 9 pate de Verre Christening robes, glass birth certificates and a monologue of children’s names. For “A New Skin” the artist worked with Una Burke to marry her leather work to slumped and screen printed glass, sand carving, kintsugi and light. There is an astounding wealth of invention in her work, a restlessness in her approach. She is forever investigating new techniques and trialling fresh ideas.

Glass is the central part of her work. As she says:

Glass offers endless sculptural possibilities and is full of contradictions – a mirror of life itself.