Gillian Lowndes (1936-2010) had the acutest sense of corporeity, the awareness of material as a continually living organism, physically and imaginatively potent. Trained at the Central School, she began as a potter but soon moved to more sculptural work in which clay was just a part, influenced initially by the various media used in African tribal art. From then on she became, she said 'less of a ceramist and more of a general maker of materials', attuned as she was to the ability of wholly different substances to combine and merge into quite new ones, using slip and firing processes to enrich and transmogrify the fabric of her pieces.
Following the bricolage of the late 1970s and early 80s her art became more experimental still as she worked with organic matter, copydex, PVA and latex. What was so striking about her output was its alchemic inventiveness, her ability to conjure up the most intricate forms from the disparate and often discarded. Her work was the antithesis of 'style'. In its sense of retrieval, reversion and reconstitution, it always resisted easy critical evaluation.