On the 31st March 1989 I landed at Heathrow Airport. It could have been the moon or planet Mars. I hardly spoke any English, I had a small rucksack, a folder with my drawings and paintings, £200 cash and a giant curiosity and desire to experience and absorb everything around me. Two months later and I had met Sir Anthony Caro and Robert Loder and was on a flight to New York state to participate in the International Triangle workshop along with thirty artists from around the globe. I had to overcome numerous obstacles to arrive at Pine Plane, New York state.
(Tony Caro wrote later about the epic journey and commented“ …she has the touch and the determination. She is an Artist …and I believe she will fulfil her promise…”. Sir. A. Caro)
That’s where I met Jeff. Whilst I was discovering everything for the first time, Jeff was in his element in every way. We came from such different backgrounds and life experiences, yet it felt we knew each other from at least a couple of past lives ago. Our bond and collaboration started then. His temperament and way of working felt familiar and exciting at the same time. After triangle, Jeff invited me to work at his enormous studio in Forest Hill. The sound of opera filled the space, mixed with the sound of metal and industrial machinery, the towering Creatures of Jeff’s sculpture provided an amazing and fertile environment. We worked together – I was on the balcony painting and Jeff on the floor below, making gigantic sculpture. The work just flooded out from somewhere deep within and filled the space. I remember returning one night late into the studio. I opened the door, letting the orange street light in, it illuminated an army of metal giants, making them strangely alive. What I remember of this time is a great certainty and total conviction for what I was doing. There was no doubt or hesitation and there was a lot of energy.
30 years passed. We moved apart and evolved. Changed. We worked separately but kept in touch sporadically …Life presented its turbulent lessons. We remained faithful to the core of our hearts, to that little flame in the centre of our rib cage …Me – painting and Jeff – making sculpture.
Eugenie Vronskaya 2019
And so, all these years later an invitation from Linden Hall Studio to show together. Something we had talked about many times. At first the more conventional, a selection of paintings and sculpture that already existed. The more interesting and obvious idea was to work together for a short but intensive time in my studio in Kent. It was an easy reunion. Our works very different but both comfortable to recognise our connections and the common language we use. We looked and talked about the work we made and about Art generally. Eugenie working at one end of the studio and me at the other. Eugenie made some paintings and drawings looking directly at my sculpture which became equivalents for, rather than copies of. Capturing the spirit rather than just the look. An exciting and productive time seeing the works evolve in my workshop and helping to choose works in Eugenie’s London studio.
The next stage to see the work exhibited together at Linden Hall Studio and for a new dialogue to begin.
Jeff Lowe 2019
‘Every collaboration helps you grow’ (Brian Eno)