Kelly Lowe- BFA AIR - 2013-2014
Kelley Lowe’s work explores the relationship between the professional disciplines of art conservation and art making. Lowe examines the seeming contrast between chance-based actions and an awareness of consequence in the manipulation of materials. Each work is an investment in object and human interaction and their symbiotic transient relationship. The work assumes the form of experimental conservation - analyzing, documenting and preserving synthetic polymer detritus that would otherwise be lost. Installations and experiments with plastic material attempt to unravel the material and cognitive dissonance. Objects and materials are both conserved and left to their own devices reacting to the environment on a macro and micro scale. The action is an exploration of the physical potential and identity of objects in relation to our own. Materials become metaphors for larger ideas of consumption, protection, desire, and loss.
Through prints, installations, sculpture and painting Kelley Lowe contemplates and critiques conditions of consumption and ideas of value presenting both a reflection on the abstract and very real pressing social and environmental issues. Lowe’s work features elements gleaned from the natural and built landscape dealing with issues of cultural and material trade. The packaging, transporting and assembling of goods (and ideas) and their inevitable material wake present an opportunity to create a visual language that attempts to contemplate and answer the rumblings of growing urban centers.
Since completing the residency Kelley Lowe has enrolled in a two year Masters of Science degree in Conservation Studies at University College London in Qatar to continue her exploration of material history to complement her art practice. With a focus on contemporary materials, Lowe has engaged with members of the community to assist artists in material decisions, preform analysis and research properties of synthetic polymer deterioration. Her thesis is focused on using environmentally degraded (found) Poly Ethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles as a case study to examine the relationship between visible and chemical degradation as well as the potential for garbage to provide insight into future conservation practices. She has worked in two contemporary museums Fondazione PLART in Naples, Italy, and La Triennale in Milan Italy in both occasion performing object treatments and research into plastic conservation. She has also maintained an artistic practice participating in group shows in Doha and becoming an artist in Residence at the Fire Station Doha from August 2016 to June 2017.