GEOFF LOWE — A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
Born in 1936 at Wordsley, a village on the edge of the Black Country to working class parents. They were surrounded on one hand with the beautiful countryside of Shropshire to the west, while to the east stretched the industrial midlands.
A present of a bicycle for his 15th birthday was to have a lasting effect on his future life, and in the following years rode thousands of miles with the local cycling club. Often combining his rides with sketching.
His father started his working life as a designer in the local Stourbridge glass industry, and so encourage his sons creative talent when he was accepted aged 13 to attend the Stourbridge Junior Art School, and two years later progressing into the main art school. Here he stayed for the next six years, studying in the old traditions, with many hours spent in the 'life room' drawing the nude figure, which is the most testing activity for the visual artist. Other studies included, painting, printmaking,sculpture, pottery and glass design.
By the age of twenty he was an accomplished designer and draughtsman, having completed his degree in Painting with Lithography. Faced, frustratingly, with an offer of a place at the Royal College of Art and two years mandatory National Service, he reluctantly began the two years as a photographer in the RAF, two days after his twenty first birthday.
Two years later he faced the prospect of earning a living and embarked on the Art Teachers Diploma course at the West of England College of Art in Bristol. His final dissertation was entitled 'The Film in Education'.
Once qualified, he moved from the south west of England to the north east to a post of assistant lecturer to teach drawing and painting, at what was then the Newcastle College of Art and Industrial Design. Later to become the Polytechnic Department of Fine Art and which is now part of The University of Northumbria.
For twenty eight years, raising a family of three, two daughters and a son, he pursued his career as a lecturer, experiencing the changing patterns of art education. Ideas became more important than the traditional craft based art forms, and with his knowledge of film and photography he became a driving force in a new Media Studies department which was part of the BA Hons Fine Art course.
During the sixties and seventies he met many major figures in the art world, including such important artists as Joseph Beuys and Richard Hamilton. His own work, mainly photographic, was an important part of his role as a Senior Lecturer. His work was shown widely with several one man shows and he received numerous Arts Council grants, as well as a purchase prize in the prestigious 'Pernod Printmakers Exhibition'.
He retired as a teacher in 1988 to involve himself in a variety of art and design based activities, which as a full time teacher were difficult to pursue. and with the pretensions of higher education were difficult to consider. This included designing and building his own timber framed house and,with his wife Molly, and his interest in cycle sport, started a business designing and making clothing for the racing cyclist. At one point employing over twenty people.
Since retiring, with their family left home, they have made several moves south, first to Durham City, where their business was based, and then to the Yorkshire dales for another architectural project. In 2001 they moved to Spain where they now live on the coast between Barcelona and Valencia.
It has been in Spain that his interest in painting has been regenerated, where the light is in sharp contrast to dull greys of northern England. Now his drawing skills honed in the life room at Stourbridge, have come into their own. This together with the advent of digital photography and computer generated imagery, his abilities have been combined in a multitude of ways. Forever experimenting and combining technology and tradition, he creates work with great originality based mainly on his observations of his environment, with a continuous thirst for invention.