The Lowry‘s brand new resident artist, Jo Lathwood, will spend four weeks developing, building, and deconstructing the site-responsive installation in real-time, in the venue’s new display Jo Lathwood: Making Up.
Lathwood makes site-specific, large-scale sculptures and installations that often respond to a chosen site, material or process – they aren’t just something to look at; they’re something you dive into. In Making Up, the emphasis is on leaving minimal waste: reusing, recycling and redistributing the materials used in the show.
The artist describes her own practice as “driven by a need to describe an emotional state through a physical space or object and engage viewers through an associated narrative”. The narrative here will be enhanced by the ability for viewers to take a peek behind the scenes through live-streamed CCTV footage from the Lowry’s basement workshops, where the artist will be based. Following this preparatory period, the resulting installation will change, grow and develop inside the gallery space.
The artist is interested in impermanence and this will be exercised in a very literal way: the building materials will be repurposed and distributed during the last few of the exhibition, highlighting the eco-conscious ethos behind Lathwood’s work. At the end, the installation is to be repurposed into functional small wooden boxes that will be given away for free at the end of the exhibition.
Inspired by Manchester’s landscape, Salford Quays’ heritage and now the Lowry’s own architectural quirks like dead ends and unexpected viewpoints, Lathwood will build a circular rotating platform from recycled timber. She will continue to build a raised boardwalk during the exhibition, to encourage visitors to join the system.
The ideal outcome is for the viewers to quite literally pause, reflect, change course and turn around, mirroring the actions necessary to achieve a sustainable future. Making Up may benefit from repeat visits too as the display is changing throughout its duration, so you can observe the way it morphs and develops.