VESSEL HEAD (VAN GOGH) BY BRIGHID LOWE
‘On the Western Window Pane’ is a new year long fundraising project organised by the Van Gogh House, presenting 12 artist designed, limited edition posters in its front, West facing window.
Artists and writers were invited to create posters drawing out the many-layered narratives from the building’s remarkable history. Each artist has taken their own approach to topics ranging from domesticity and mental health to coming-of-age and unionism.
Brighid Lowe is an artist who lives and works in London. Her work uses a wide variety of media and formats including text, photography, sculpture and drawing. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including Kunstmuseum Olten, Switzerland; Baltic 39, Newcastle Upon Tyne; Jerwood Foundation, London and Tate Britain. In 2018 she had her most recent solo exhibition at Coleman Projects, London. She was a recipient of a Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists in 1998.
She is an Associate Professor at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London.
Vessel Heads is an on-going series of inkjet prints of collaged vases and vessels with crudely cut out ‘smiley faces’. Their smiles can be read as both grin and grimace, and collectively the Vessel Heads record an emotional trajectory, in which humour and cruelty undercut each other.
Vessel Head (Van Gogh) (2021), is the latest in the series, and was made specifically for the Van Gogh House.
A letter from Van Gogh’s early days in London contained a transcription of a poem by John Keats called ‘The Eve of St. Mark’. One of the verses contains the line ‘on the western window panes’ and continues to describe how the whole world seems to be reflected and contained in this piece of glass:
The verse captures Van Gogh House’s approach to this project, seeing the building as a portal to an endlessly rich body of themes and conversations.
Further education materials around the influence of Keats on Van Gogh can be found in our Learning area, under Learning Activities
As with many other small arts organisations, the Van Gogh House was severely affected by the pandemic. By selling posters, Van Gogh House hopes to support the artists involved and use the income to fund future projects.
A new poster will be installed on the first of each month until March 2022, with 12 posters in total. We encourage everyone to place their posters in their windows, and to share their thoughts and reflections with us.
What do you think about this poster? How would you have responded to Keats’ poem? Would you show the poster in your window?
Take part in the conversation by:
87 Hackford Road,
Brighid Lowe, Madeleine Pledge, Lesley Sharpe, Allison Katz, Jordan Baseman, Ye Funa, Katrina Palmer, Will Harris, Rosa-Johan Uddoh, Gray Wielebinski
With thanks to Benjamin Arthur Brown for curating the project, Klaudia Bebenek for her help in producing this project, Omnicolour for printing the posters, and to the artists involved.