Nottingham Trent University
East Midlands

Mark Lowe,

The striking element of Mark Lowe’s work is the ability to make an audience attentive to the details of a medium to which they are no doubt accustomed, but had previously ignored.

Readily available white emulsion and gloss paint are not incredibly exciting to all of us, but when taken out of their ‘do-it-yourself’ home store context and manipulated, as is materialized in the metal mechanical stirrer that’s whisking gloss paint in a glass fish tank, a mounted plastic bucket continuously revolving emulsion on the wall and a video playing it pouring into a black surround on loop, you begin to see the material take on a life form of its own, becoming resistant to the surroundings into which it has been placed and fighting to keep its integrity. The malleable qualities of gloss and emulsion emerge in the forefront and the result is captivating.

The work is purposely placed next to a set of more traditional, intricate paintings and this contrast brings the inevitable questioning of whether the work before me is too a “painting”, or a sculpture, or something that transcends both. I’m not sure it matters. What I am most fond of within these works is how grounded they are. Lowe manages to convince me during the experience that this medium is something worth spending my time on; that its ambiguity and simplicity is a winner, yet he does so without the faintest air of pretense. The speed of the motor and the pace of the paint drips makes the intent clear: longevity is what is important, not a parade.