Alison Lowry

Artist’s Statement

I am interested in textiles, especially clothing. Fabric preserves the essence of its maker; traces of the wearer become entwined with the warp and weft, allowing physical objects to become containers for memory.

This interest in fabric and embroidery started with some family heirlooms: a collection of beautiful and intricate Irish white work hand made by female relations. More recently, an embroidered christening robe that has been in my family for over hundred years inspired a major body of work. Through this work I examined my family links and ties to the past. I examined how delicate life is, and how the states of birth and death can be similar in their fragility and vulnerability. This body of work grew and developed to encompass many other thoughts and feelings, and I realized that these ‘little dresses’ could be interpreted in a variety of ways by both the viewer and maker.

The universal themes of birth and death are still woven through my work, yet I am increasingly starting to explore how clothing acts like a second skin, and how these items are inexplicably interlaced with narrative. ‘Empty’ dresses hang like skeletons in our closets, bound with the memories the (absent) body still holds inside.

Glass, for me, is the perfect medium to encapsulate these transient notions. Glass offers endless sculptural possibilities and is full of contradictions- a mirror of life itself. The process of making is intrinsic to my practice and I am fascinated by the interface created when glass is used in conjunction with other processes and techniques, for example photography, printmaking and textiles.

Alison Lowry is a glass artist who works out of her studio, ‘Schoolhouse Glass’ in Northern Ireland. Originally from a textile background, in 2008 she started working with glass and fell in love with it as an endlessly expressive, yet challenging material. She has won numerous awards including the Silver medal at the Royal Ulster Academy in 2010, the glass category at the Royal Dublin Show in 2009 and 2015, and the Warm Glass Prize in 2010 and 2011. She is the only Irish glass artist to have been selected for a residency at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York State and in 2016 she was selected to exhibit at ‘Emerge’- an international competition for emerging glass artists- and picked up the Bronze award. Currently her solo show ‘(A)Dressing Our Hidden Truths’ is being exhibited the National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts and History in Dublin until May 2020.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the editor of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom, winner of the 2017 Washington Prize, Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in such places as The Awl, Berkeley Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron, Gargoyle, The Journal, New American Writing, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Raritan, Seneca Review, So to Speak, Verse, Verse Daily, and VOLT.