Monday 4 February 2019

Alban Low - Love Tokens and Bad Pennies

Alban Low at #unsettledgallaery No.10
Does love endure forever? Does a bad penny always turn up? During this Valentine month the artists and writers from CollectConnect explore this flip-sided theme with an exhibition of 32 miniature sculptures. These objects are placed in public places (#unsettledgallery), helping us to remember those who we hold dear - or cast off those who we would rather forget. Every day throughout February we will be featuring one of these tokens/pennies on this website. A writer will also use the art as inspiration to create something new and fresh.

Artist - Alban Low / Words - Ginny Reddick

It seemed like a great way to cut down on workload so of course they bought a load, programmed them with the mission statement and released them at the Monday meeting. People seemed to quite enjoy it – it was something different and of course anything to save time.

They worked well at first, reminding pupils and staff of key points. The DON’T TIP ON YOUR CHAIR message was really helpful and saved valuable minutes. Average progress scores increased by 5%, staff engagement with data improved and messages were transmitted in a fun and effective way.

Then something went wrong. Some said it was IT support (as usual) and others suspected the geography department of programming them to control entire lessons and they’d never been meant for that. The problem was, it got to the stage where you could never quite tell where they’d turn up or what they would say when they got there.

The PROGRESS SCORE reminder turned itself into GROPE ROSES. Teachers just laughed and failed to engage with the development plan. BOOK CHECK alerts were presented as BOK-EH-COCK which failed to convey the gravity of that particular process.

The final straw came during a pop-up inspection when USE THE WINGS turned up to PE, which was expected, with the message WEEING TUSH, which was not. Pupils took advantage of the ensuing chaos and overall an unsatisfactory hour of physical learning was presented to the inspectors.

Their report recommended removal and destruction of the devices as they did not promote the appropriate values. However, they are difficult to catch and seem to be multiplying.

Alban Low

You can see Alban Low's artwork in the Hospital Bridge Road Tunnel beside the River Crane at #unsettledgallery No.10. If you can find it then you can take it home, or perhaps you will leave it for someone else to discover. The River Crane runs through the slim woodland and pasture area of Crane Park in Twickenham. It is managed to encourage wildlife, Marsh Frogs and the scarce water vole breed on the banks of the river. You can also find important industrial archaeology with relics from the Hounslow Gunpowder Works (1760s) at the western end of the park.

Alban Low is involved in many creative projects, these include album artwork, publishing chapbooks, making films, maps, conceptual exhibitions, live performance and good old drawing. He is artist-in-residence at the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education at Kingston University and St George's University of London. Low spends his evenings in the jazz clubs of London where he captures the exhilaration of live performances in his sketchbook. On Wednesday evenings he sketches the performers on the radio show A World in London at Resonance FM. This year Alban is working on a walking project about London Musicians from the 1920s-1940s.

Ginny Reddick is a writer and educator. She was one of the artists who exhibited at the first ever CollectConnect exhibition, Open Fridge, in March 2010. Although there has been a 9 year hiatus between that exhibition and this one she has curated numerous CC projects including the Walthamstow street art favourite HideBird.

Don't forget to submit to our next exhibition. The Art of Caring is accepting submission until the 7th April 2019. More at

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