Nicholas Lowe, Professor. John H. Bryan Chair of Historic Preservation
Nicholas Lowe is an interdisciplinary artist, teacher, project manager, and curator. He is known for his photography, video, and installation works from the 1980’s and 90’s that focus on experiences of AIDS and HIV. Lowe has also worked in prisons and with farming communities in the UK. He's worked with people in these specific social situations to facilitate opportunities where the details and information from personal archives and from first voice accounts are offered as a commentary upon prevailing social conditions.
Sometimes called a social practitioner and identified as a contextual artist, Lowe has facilitated exhibitions, publications, and archival collecting throughout the 90’s into the early 2000’s and up to the present time. Alongside his tenure as Associate Professor in Historic Preservation he is curator of the Goat Island Archive and advisor to the Roger Brown Study Collection, a special collection of the School of The Art Institute of Chicago.
Lowe's current creative endeavors are responses to landscape as a material artifact of social and cultural conditions. Drawings and digital photographs are made to document the present time, both in the studio and plein air, paying careful attention to the conditions of a place and to the subtle indicators of human activity. Other recent visual work takes the form of three dimensional miniatures and diorama's that address content derived from archival and literary sources while taking on curatorial and museological concerns. Written accounts, drawings, etchings, and archival photographs are activated as sources for the dioramas which represent places that are now no longer in existence, and actions, incidents, and situations that have long since been passed into narrative. Strongly calling to mind considerations expressed by Michel Foucault where "fictions function as fact," the nature of truth in the museum is examined and its mechanisms are openly presented.