30 March to 20 May 2018
A collaborative project between Mark Lomax and Mark Lomax featuring quilts, sculptural works and music.
Catalogue available here
"In July 2015, Dr. Mark Lomax, Columbus-based musician, composer and educator was searching the Internet for a review of his latest CD release and discovered the work of Inverness artist and lecturer, Mark Lomax. Dr. Lomax emailed me suggesting that we might collaborate on a project together. Over the ensuing weeks we discussed several possible topics, but it was my ongoing research using domestic objects and artefacts as the means of triggering involuntary autobiographical memories that gave us our starting point.
My work had led me to explore areas of textile design and manufacture, this included, weaving, rug and carpet designs and motifs, knitted textiles and printed textile designs. Whilst working on some weaving pieces I became interested in the social aspect of this and other crafts practiced worldwide, but for my purposes, I was specifically interested in how this related to the Highlands and Islands.
The idea of the quilt as a social activity, its means of construction and its global significance as a clearly identifiable object with a strong history, multiple associations and its own symbols and language was the starting point we were looking for. The formal arrangement of the quilt, being the sum of all its parts, presented me with the perfect metaphor for representing society and the individual’s place within it. I also envisioned the possible idea that the structure of the quilt with its patterns, colours and rhythms might even serve as a musical score that might be played by a group of musicians. Not only did the quilt represent the idea of community but in some practices materials were shared and quilts were “pieced” and assembled communally with groups of mainly, although not exclusively, women coming together socially to pass on skills and stories whilst producing quilts.
Through our continued email correspondence, I had become aware that my view on the subject had a marked euro-centric focus and in order to connect our two continents I felt the need to expand my point of reference to include the rich quilting traditions of America. Dr. Lomax referred me to the Underground Slave Railway and the quilting traditions of the Afro-American Slaves. This began a body of research and work exploring the slave trade and Britain’s dark history in this story of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man. This thread picked up on a number of strands running through my collaborator’s previous work. It was necessary for me to work through these ideas before concentrating once more on the more positive aspects of community and coming together.
Our collaboration is still going strong and our work continues to explore many of the ideas that originally bought us together."
Dr Mark Lomax, II
“Three years ago, I was searching the internet for a review of my newest release, Isis & Osiris, and came across a few images by an artist named… Mark Lomax. Intrigued, I began reading about, and looking at as many images as I could find. Everything I read and saw resonated at a very deep level so I decided to reach out to Mark on the slim chance that we might work together. Three years of conversations and email updates are represented in this exhibit.
Our work focuses on identity. We draw from history and bring a unique “Lomaxian” perspective to the fore regarding authenticity and, from my perspective as an African-American, notions of power. Specific to my work as composer and performer, I draw from the blues and all other musical dialects of the African diaspora. As a soloist, I am working to create a drum language that honors the drumming traditions of Africa while speaking in an ethnically Black vernacular as must happen given that the drum set is neither African nor is it American (I use the term Black to describe a person of African descent who have descended from slaves in North America.).
Compositionally I draw from such influences as James Reese Europe (1880-1919), Edward “Duke” Ellington (1899-1974), Thelonious Monk (1917-1982), Charles Mingus (1922-1979), and Coleridge Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004). Stylistically, my work is also informed by gospel, funk, hip-hop, and other styles born of Africa and its diaspora.
I believe that music is the healing force of the Universe and that it is the function of artists to reintroduce Humanity to itself.”