CRYING THE UNKNOWN
Ben Lowe’s latest collection, Crying the Unknown, is named after a poem written by Madge Hales and published in her 1955 book Dark Landscape. Catching sight of a dusty, tattered first edition of this book at a London market, Lowe was initially intrigued by the title, which echoes the brooding, abstract landscapes that abound in his own work. Over subsequent months he kept Hales’ book by his side and often delved into her poems during those strange, somnolent slices of time – familiar to any new parent – that punctuated his life following the birth of a son.
The poems in Dark Landscape provided not just strength through early fatherhood, but also inspiration. Out of this inspiration came the paintings that comprise Crying the Unknown, a collection of figurative and abstract works that are connected by a sense of struggle, and of vulnerability. Feeding off the mood of Dark Landscape to create visual metaphors for his own feelings, Lowe brings forth disquieting images of people and animals in environments variously natural, wild and societal; images of conflict and isolation; of the fragility of existence and the often combative nature of love.
Though some of the paintings, such as Siamese Fight and Room of Shadows, make direct reference to Hales’ poems, Crying the Unknown is not a series of illustrations to verse, but a less definable acknowledgement of overlapping creative sensibilities. The pervasive tone may, in the artist’s own words, be one of “…venturing into scary new waters in a paper boat,” but Lowe’s message that emotions are shared across generations and artistic mediums is ultimately a hopeful one.
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Enquiries: 07770 754440 or please email