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David Lowther, Buxton Museum

A rainy post-walk visit to Buxton Museum was very rewarding. The space was almost empty which is so often the case with these provincial museums, which is a worrying sign that they are underused which casts a constant threat of closure over them. All we can do is spread the word and enthuse about what they contain; the history, the imagination and the best of what we can be as a species. There are some passionate and very contemporary curators working in the museums in our smaller towns and this is what we need to encourage to help these important institutions survive.

The exhibition by David Lowther was a lovely examination of a single farm on a hill, from different perspectives, in different media and in different seasons. Cezanne had a similar obsession with Mont Sainte-Victoire in France and painted it incessantly which I’ve always had in the back of my own mind as a project, and I’ve actioned recently in Reef Knoll Whispers. They often say that as an artist gains age and experience, they stay closer to home and become content with studying their immediate vicinity. Monet and Hockney have certainly done this and Lowther appears to be doing the same. There’s a fascination in not chasing nature and human activity around the world and simply sitting still and watching things unfold in front of you. In our age of instant gratification and the horror of AI encroaching on the creative industries, this ability to stay in one place for a period of time and watch the world randomly and beautifully evolve in front of you seems even more prescient. If this isn’t the perfect way to gain contentment of our place in the world then I don’t know what is.

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