My work is born of chance and improvisation. I guide it in unpredictable directions, in search of a finality that might never be achieved. Work is built up in layers over times and found in the debris of past action, bringing permanence and impermanence together like a palimpsest. Objects and materials come to embody metaphors of change through the processes of cutting, bending, painting and sanding. They sympathize with our journey through life, as we navigate the world with each other. While the work has a strong material presence, it is really about gaining insight into the way we make ourselves.
As a maker, I am interested in the life of an object, the ways in which it shows signs of change and how this transformation is reflected in our own bodily transformations. I have found this position to be supported by Karen Barad’s theory of relational ontology, which describes materialities, including human bodies, as affecting one another in a continual way. Anchoring this dialogue in the realm of art making, Amelia Jones writes about the ability of an art object to affect sympathetic projection. Which is to say that once the artists body is no longer present, a material’s own agential force activates unique experiences with new bodies, so that we might feel, see or understand what the maker felt, saw or understood.
A material worked into expressive form by a human body will not silence but rather de-privilege the human as the only source of agency in a work. The vibrancy of matter that Bennett describes suggests that all matter has agency to affect and transform. Through my work I ask if we see ourselves in the changing, unfinished objects around us, as we ourselves move through philosophical and material gains and losses. My work, when considered mid-process, suggests to me that the material could be going either way, somewhere between making and unmaking, being made or in a state of deterioration. It points to the ways that materials outside of artistic practice function, constantly changing for the single reason that they exist in a world of constant body and matter interactions.
Working principally as a contemporary jeweler and metalsmith, I also look at the world through the lens of adornment and decoration. From this perspective, I can approach all objects as bodies and view their outermost, decorative layer as adornment. My making has been concerned with the physical relationships of human bodies to objects and architectural spaces as evidenced by material changes that occur over time. I see this as a progression of my long-held interest in the objects we hold on to. The ones we use to communicate who we are and that continue to act as a monument to our existence when we are gone. My recent works involve movement between benchtop, floor and wall as I work with paper, paint and metal. I have been shifting between small, large and ephemeral objects, playing with the idea of what is being worn and what is doing the wearing.
Andy Lowrie is an artist working with adornment and decoration in relation to the body and architectural spaces. He makes sculptural and wearable objects, works on paper and paint-based installations that disrupt existing sites. His practice began in Australia at the Queensland College of Art, Jewelry and Small Objects Studio, where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Art in 2011. He went on to co-found the contemporary jewelry studio, Bench, in 2012, before relocating to the United States in 2016. He earned an MFA in Craft/Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2020.
Andy pursues contemporary expressions of jewelry making that challenge hierarchies of material value and embrace a mindful exploitation of material and process. In acts of mark making, surface manipulation and erasure, he explores the potential of process as metaphor. His work has been exhibited in Australia, China, Italy and North America, and has been professionally recognized with awards from Brooklyn Metal Works in New York and My-Day By-Day Gallery in Rome. He is currently a Teaching Fellow at the Baltimore Jewelry Center in Maryland.
Where to Buy
Work is not available for sale through the SNAG website. Please contact the artist directly to inquire about making a purchase.