Summer 2019

Exhibiting / Tate Modern / eMotion

Yesterday I installed a new artwork at the Tate Modern in London, UK. eMotion is an interactive artwork that I have created alongside longtime collaborators Harvey Wells and Kevin Acott. Throughout our lives we are making transitions: moving emotionally, spiritually, socially, physically. We adjust from being ‘healthy’ to being ‘ill’, from ‘independence’ to ‘dependence’ and back again. This project highlights the joys and fear of impermanence, of the changes that occur every second, minute and hour of our lives. It embraces movement as normal, as part of the flow of life – something that should neither be resisted nor forced.

You can see/experience it from 11-16 June 2019, 12-5pm daily as part of the Ideas in Motion exhibition. More information here – https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/tate-exchange/workshop/ideas-motion-borders-bodies-and-universe

From January to May my time is consumed by the Art of Caring exhibition at St George’s Hospital. I’ve been organising this exhibition for 5 years now and it still delights and surprises with its varied and insightful work. It ends on the 14th June and will now travel to St Pancras Hospital (Launch Party 18th July) under the care of curators Peter Herbert and Elaine Harper-Gay.

Iris_Lynwood_29_05_2019_A4_aI was able to put some of my work into other group exhibitions this year. Size Matters was part of the Fringe Arts Bath festival and included some of my miniature cigarette worlds. It was also an opportunity to escape London for a few days, where I took some time out to do some drawing (see left) near Stroud. It has been a demanding 18 months with some sad and difficult periods in my personal life. I realise that I will need to take some more time out to draw in the future months. Love Tokens and Bad Pennies was a real success on the streets of London with the other CollectConnect artists. It really is my preferred way to exhibit, directly on the streets and engaging with a sometimes unsuspecting audience. It has been such an exciting format that we are teaming up with Barbara Dougan at Grove to run a new street art exhibition and trail that will run through Bury St Edmunds in August 2019. http://www.groveprojects.org/groving.html

33%_colour_utf_3 copyOut and About

I had a fabulous day in May drawing at the Urban Tree Festival in London. As their festival artist I was given free rein to delve into a number of talks and activities. My favourite drawing was of the Thai Trees session in Lloyd Park just near Angel (right).

I am still devoted to sketching on the radio programme A World in London every Wednesday on Resonance FM. I have been drawing the bands/musicians who perform on the show for nearly 3 years now. I love the excitement of capturing the live performance and value the friendships I’ve nurtured with DJ Ritu, Norman Druker, Sophie Darling, Patrick Bernard, Lucas Keen (and Sophia Gaetani Morris)

One of the personal projects that has really taken off in the past 6 months is discovering and celebrating the lives of London’s Musicians from the 1930s. I’m interested in where they lived, their music, and what the stories of their lives reveals about the time. I’ve published two books 1930s Musicians of Richmond and Twickenham and 1930s Musicians of Twickenham and Whitton. I’m currently working on a third one around Tufnell Park that includes musicians Frank Deniz, Fela Sowande and Leslie ‘Jiver’ Hutchinson. Natalie very kindly accompanies on my walks as I track down some of the houses where the musicians lived.

Album and Book Art

Georgia Mancio and Kate Williams’ new album Finding Home has been launched and very well received by critics and audiences alike (below). My artwork has also been featured on Laura Zakian’s new album Minor Moments and Canadian trumpeter Gabriel Mark Hasselbach’s latest release Radio Gold. Three worlds collided for me recently when I illustrated A World in London colleague Sophie Darling’s new chapbook Darling’s Global Record Labels through our publishers Sampson Low.

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Winter / Spring 2019

Being Human, Bloomsbury, Brut and Bury St Edmunds

I finished off 2018 with a hectic schedule of commissioned works, walks and residencies. Kevin Acott and I spent a brilliant week with Barbara Dougan at Grove Projects creating new work. It was a precious opportunity for us both, not only was it a rare chance to work uninterrupted for 6 days but we created new and unexpected work that we presented in a exhibition in Bury St Edmunds. We started the week by creating two new chapbooks Limey and Trial and Error which were published and in bookstores like Waterstones within 5 days. The second half of our week was spent exploring Bury St Edmunds and writing songs after we stumbled across the story of Nick Cave’s time spent in the East Anglian town, and also a fun trip to the Hoo Ha Record Club one evening.

In November we took some of our work and performed it at Rich Mix in London as part of the Poem Brut series run by SJ Fowler.

I worked on a really interesting collaboration with The Rutledge Lab, at the Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research, inviting the public to talk about their perceptions of mental health and explore how this interacts with approaches taken by researchers and clinicians. Dear World Project was an installation featuring a post box where members of the public anonymously sent postcards about their own mental wellbeing which was then be organised at a sorting office. Scientists were on hand to discuss how we use symptom categories and diagnostic labels in neuroscience and psychiatric research.

In recognition and celebration of the 70th anniversary of the NHS, I worked in partnership with Prof Harvey Wells and curator Richard Meunier to discover the traces of East London’s medical history. We created a guide map commissioned by Queen Mary University of London that reveals the hidden relics of the hospitals that existed prior to the inception of the NHS. The map links together the Queen Mary sites that exist today: St Bartholomew’s Hospital founded in 1123 which is the oldest hospital in England to have provided continuous care for patients on the same site, The Royal London Hospital founded in 1740 which was once the largest general hospital in the country and where Joseph Merrick the Elephant Man was treated and Queen Mary’s Mile End campus which is situated next to Mile End Hospital. We launched the map at the Royal London Hospital Museum and created a video of the walk.

Before the NHS: A walk through East London’s medical past from Alban Low on Vimeo.

Love Tokens and Bad Pennies / The Art of Caring

I’m involved in two exhibition this Spring. During the Valentine month the artists and writers from CollectConnect explore the flip-sided theme of Love Tokens and Bad Pennies with an exhibition of 34 miniature sculptures. These objects are placed in public places (#unsettledgallery), helping us to remember those who we hold dear – or cast off those who we would rather forget. Every day throughout February we feature one of these tokens/pennies. A writer will also use the art as inspiration to create something new and fresh. Find out more HERE.

I was interviewed about the exhibition by Andrew Stuck for the Talking Walking podcast. Listen here – https://www.talkingwalking.net/alban-low-talking-walking/

We’ve got an open call to artists for this year’s Art of Caring. Now in its 5th year The Art of Caring is needed more than ever to show support for Nurses, Carers, and the NHS. This is your chance to exhibit an artwork that demonstrates your passion for this theme. If this is your first time then check out Anna Bowman’s documentary film about last year’s exhibition HERE.

Album Covers and Books

I’m currently working on the album artwork for Georgia Mancio and Kate Williams new release. Also a new Juan Maria Solare album of Erik Satie compositions. For only the second time in my career my artwork will grace a new vinyl release, this time a 7″ sleeve for the new single from Firefay.

My album art appeared on the latest release from Momentum and one of my live sketches featured on the cover of Al Shields’ latest EP.

Chapbooks are still a passion for me and our publishing company Sampson Low. As the year turned from 2018 to 2019 I worked on a fabulous new series from Robin Helweg-Larsen in the Bahamas. The “Potcake Chapbook” series is named for the dogs of the Bahamas and the Caribbean – strays that live off the burnt scrapings of cooking pots. The poems in the series are a mixed bunch – but the potcake of our logo wears a bow tie to show that he and all the poems are formal. These poems are memorable in part because they rhyme and scan, as all truly memorable poetry does. We subscribe to the use of form, no matter how formless the times in which we live.

I’ve also illustrated a new chapbook from Emily Wooden, and 10 chapbooks as part of the Elmbridge Literary Competition.

Coming Up

This summer I’ll be exhibiting in the new Blavatnik Building at the Tate Modern from 10th to 16th June. Working with Harvey Wells and Kevin Acott, we’re creating a new interactive version of the Relationship Map we published for Mental Health Awareness week a few years ago.