National Sculpture Factory


19th October 2022

A lecture with Alison Lowry

Alison is interested in how objects tell stories. Objects, such as textiles, can have a personal resonance holding memory within them, the traces of the wearer, the maker and of the historical period they were created within. The fabric of our lives surrounds and envelops us, and it is this translation from textile into glass that has informed her practise. In her work she is also interested in artistic performance and how an object can perform as a tool, a way to disseminate a narrative and investigate difficult emotions attached to these concealed truths. The distance gained by using an object can enable a different interpretation of a performance, allowing the audience to develop an intimate connection to what is happening.

Alison has for many years worked with survivors of the Irish Institutional system, for example, the Industrial Schools, Mother and Baby Homes and Magdalene Laundries. Art can help us to understand what went on in these places and can help us engage with our emotionally charged history. Growing up in a society where these places operated in plain sight, means we were complicit in their existence. As a society she believes we now need to bear witness, and art can play a small role in making the pain of the past bearable and the survivors suffering understandable to all.


About the artist

Material Laboratories