Artist in Lockdown Series #4 - JEFF LOWE

How has lockdown affected your routine and practice?

Firstly I am working on my own. I normally work with assistants and have done so most of my working life. I have always enjoyed the balance of time between being on my own and the energy and production when working with help.Being in lockdown feels a bit like doing a residency although not knowing for how long.It is important to try to keep a routine. I have always been self-motivated and enjoy change and challenge.


What have you been working on today?

As well as some larger sculptures I have been working on small laser cut and constructed brass sculptures. They are bolted together and formed with similar machines as the large curved aluminium sculptures. The scale is great for change and experiment. I have a range of shapes which inspire the work and help to inspire the direction.


What are you missing the most in this time of isolation?

I miss meeting up with friends in the evening. I love the intensity and focus of working every day but then it is great to relax and go out. I was also working regularly at The Cambridge Print Studio and very excited about the work we were doing there. This will have to wait.


Are you struggling to get hold of materials and does this mean you are coming up with original ideas to compensate?

I always have lots of materials around. Having just finished my exhibition in February I was lucky to have ordered material for new works. I am still able to get most things but if I can’t I am happy to improvise and work with something else. I am also making unique prints.


What are you doing to remain positive?

I have always been positive and self-sufficient. As an artist it is important to see the positive. Being in ‘lockdown’ can have certain advantages for artists and is not so different from the day-to-day lives of many. Being able to focus and have time to question is a good thing.


What advice would you give to your fellow creative practitioners?

I think every artist will deal with this crisis differently. I always felt when I was going through a previous short but difficult time in my life that having time was the most important thing. With time art can be made which doesn’t need expensive materials or grandiose scale.


Do you think art and the art world will look different when we re-emerge from isolation?

Art is always changing. I don’t think this period of change will be bad. I always felt the Art world was more serious and there was more debate when it was less about money and fashion.


Can you recommend a good art related book, podcast or film/series for everyone in lockdown?

I have started watching Tales from the Loop. A sci-fi series with music by Philip Glass and Paul Leonard-Morgan. Perhaps it is a bit bleak when added to what we are all going through but still very good.


What is your favourite recipe during lockdown?

Cooking generally during lockdown seems to have developed a greater significance than normal.We seem to be spending more time in the kitchen and experimenting with recipes. We look forward to this time every evening more than we used to.There is no real shortage of food but we seem to try to use what we have in imaginative ways and not waste anything.


Which artist (dead or alive) would you most like to be in isolation with and why?

That’s a difficult question. If in isolation I would like to collaborate with someone and feel that we had produced something together by the end. I have always wanted to design sets for an Opera. I love the music and Operas of Philip Glass. I would work with him. He has a great knowledge and understanding of art having worked for sculptors. I listen to music constantly as I make. I think there would be a great conversation.

April 24, 2020