Independent arts writer, curator and lecturer; Research Fellow at Norwich University of the Arts; Director of Kunsthalle Cromer. Lowndes’ research and teaching focuses on Cultural Studies, post-1945 Art History and Creative Writing, with a particular interest in DIY art, music and publishing, interdisciplinary and performance-related practice, contemporary art, curatorial practice, empirical research, creative cities, interstitial zones and peripheries, subcultures and nature writing.


2011- 2013 MLitt Creative Writing, Glasgow University

2002-2007 Glasgow School of Art AHRC funded PhD. Thesis title: ‘The Contradiction is Real: Concrete Performance in Southern California, 1967-1975’.

2000-2001 Glasgow School of Art M.Phil. Art and Design in Organisational Contexts. Thesis title: ‘Social Sculpture Glasgow 1979-2002’, analyzing the contemporary art and music scenes in Glasgow.

1993-1997 University of Glasgow M.A. (Hons), English Literature / Film and Television Studies.


1997- Freelance writer, specializing in the arts

2002- 2015 Lecturer, Forum for Critical Inquiry, Glasgow School of Art

2008- Independent curator

2016- Director, Kunsthalle Cromer

2017- Research Fellow, Norwich University of the Arts

2017-2020 Associate Tutor, University of East Anglia

2020-2021 Migration, Heritage & Belonging Project Co-ordinator, Time and Tide Museum

Selected published writing

Crowds, Community and Contagion in Contemporary Britain (London and New York: Routledge, forthcoming 2022).

Field Work: New Nature Writing from East Anglia, Sarah Lowndes, ed. (Norwich: UEA Publishing Project, 2020).

Site Writing, Sarah Lowndes and Nell Croose Myhill, ed. (Norwich: Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, 2020).

Like the Sea I Think: New Marine Writing from East Anglia, Sarah Lowndes, ed. (Norwich: UEA Publishing Project, 2019).

Contemporary Artists Working Outside the City: Creative Retreat (London and New York, Routledge, 2018).

Actions: The Image of the World Can Be Different, Andrew Nairne and Sarah Lowndes, ed.s, (Cambridge: Kettle’s Yard, 2018).

New Edition, Sarah Lowndes, ed., (Edinburgh: Edinburgh Printmakers, 2017).

The DIY Movement in Art, Music and Publishing: Subjugated Knowledges (London and New York, Routledge, 2016).

“The Key Material is Time”, Generation Reader (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 2014).

All Art is Political: Writings on Performative Art (Edinburgh: Luath Press, 2014).

“Window shopping: Glasgow art and the politics of display”, Function / Dysfunction – Contemporary art from Glasgow, (Nürnberg: Neues Museum, Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design, 2013).

“Hole Punch: The Late Autobiographical Works of Dieter Roth”, Dieter Roth: Diaries, (Edinburgh: Fruitmarket Gallery / London: Yale University Press, 2012).

Studio 58: Women Artists in Glasgow Since World War II, Sarah Lowndes ed., (Glasgow: Glasgow School of Art Exhibitions Department, 2012).

“Botanical Vaudeville”, Robert Rauschenberg, (New York: Gagosian Gallery, 2011).

Social Sculpture: The Rise of the Glasgow Art Scene (Edinburgh: Luath Press, 2010).

“Learned by Heart: The Paintings of Richard Wright’, Richard Wright (New York: Rizzoli, 2010).

“Aleana Egan: A Grey Luminous Light from the Sea”, Aleana Egan (Basel: Kunsthalle Basel, 2008).

“Straight Letters”, Camilla Low, (Dundee: Dundee Contemporary Arts, 2008).

“The Glasgow Scene”, The History of British Art, Volume III (London: Tate Publishing, 2008).

Curatorial Projects

Curator, Weathering: New Art from East Anglia, The Yare Gallery, Great Yarmouth, June-July 2021.

Curator, Esplanade: A Procession for Women, with participation of 100 local girls and women, Kunsthalle Cromer, West Promenade, Cromer, 8 March 2018.

Curator, Panoramic Sea Happening, re-enactment of Tadeusz Kantor’s 1967 happening, with Henry Layte as The Conductor, Kunsthalle Cromer, East Beach, Cromer, June 2017.

Curator, New Edition, group exhibition by Museums Press, Poster Club and Emer Tumilty (Edinburgh Printmakers / Edinburgh Art Festival, July 2017).

Editor of bi-annual The Burning Sand prose, poetry and art magazine and curator of related live events (2012-2016), funded by Creative Scotland, distributed by Motto and Good Press.

Curator, Valise and co-curator, GLASGOW WEEKEND: art, music and design from Glasgow (Volksbuehne and BQ, Berlin, 18-22 September 2013).

Curator, Studio 58: Women Artists in Glasgow Since WWII (Mackintosh Museum, 2012), exhibition included works by 53 artists including loans from the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow Museums and Glasgow Women’s Library.  Co-organiser (with GSA Exhibitions and AAC, GSA) of Studio 58 symposium, and organiser of related film screening event (2012).

Curator, Dialogue of Hands sculpture park with commissioned works by Chris Johanson, Camilla Low, Mary Redmond and Corin Sworn (Glasgow International, 2012).

Curator and producer, Urlibido, commissioned works by Kim Coleman & Jenny Hogarth, Susie Green, Shelly Nadashi, Kimberley O’Neill, Morag Ross and Cara Tolmie (Glasgow International, 2010).

Curator of Votive exhibition, with works by George Brecht, Nerea Bello, Chris Burden, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Thea Djordjadze, Torsten Lauschmann, Richard Wright and objects loaned from The World Cultures Collection of Glasgow Museums (CCA, Glasgow, 2009).

Chair and co-organiser (with Kathryn Elkin and Louise Shelley) of Subject in Process: Feminism and Art symposium (CCA, Glasgow, 2009).

Curator, Three Blows – all-sound acoustic performance (St. Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh, 2008), with Keith Rowe, Mayo Thompson, Sarah Kenchington, Richard Wright and Luke Fowler.

Selected Talks and Lectures

“We Are Born as Nouns Not Verbs: Agnes Martin and the New Mexico Desert”, World Art Research Seminar, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art, University of East Anglia, Norwich, May 2018.

Chair of discussion event “What Can Art Do?” with Natasha Walter and Caroline Walker, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, April 2018.

Chair of Women of the World Festival discussion event with Valeria Napoleone and Caroline Douglas, Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich, April 2018.

“Women, Act, Make, Archive, Reset”, panel discussion with Adele Patrick and Elizabeth O’Brien, Glasgow Zine Fest, CCA Glasgow, April 2018.

“Real Life Research”, Postgraduate Research Workshop, Norwich University of the Arts, March 2018.

“Public Art Now”, Chair of Study Afternoon, Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, Norwich, September 2017.

“Self-organize: DIY for a Successful Career”, Professional Practice Seminar, School of Fine Art, Glasgow School of Art, April 2017.

“Contemporary Artist Working Outside the City: Creative Retreat”, Research Seminar, Ideas Factory, Norwich University of the Arts, March 2017.

“The DIY Movement”, The Friday Event, Glasgow School of Art, October 2016.

Public Roundtable, “East or Eden? Contemporary Art in Norwich”, Norwich University of the Arts, September 2016.

“DIY Publishing since 1955”, Visiting Lecturer to Central Saint Martin’s Graphic & Communication Design Foundation course, January 2016.

“The Handshake and the Interface: The Glasgow Art Scene since 1990”, AAH2015, Annual Conference, University of East Anglia, Norwich, 9 – 11 April 2015.

“It’s about the weight (wait)”, Lunch Bytes on Education and Learning, Goethe Institute/CCA Glasgow, December 2014.

“Should artists professionalise?” International Artist Initiated, David Dale Gallery, Glasgow in collaboration with Fillip, Vancouver (Part of Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme).

“The Key Material is Time”, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, October 2014.

“Window shopping: Glasgow art and the politics of display” Nürnberg: Neues Museum, Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design, December 2013.

Visiting lecturer, School of Arts and Cultures, Newcastle University, October 2013.

“Time, concentration and supermarkets”, The Future Symposium, Jerwood Visual Arts and Film and Video Umbrella/CCA Glasgow, 2013.

In conversation with Bjorn Roth at the opening of the exhibition Dieter Roth: Diaries, Camden Art Centre, London, 2013.

Seminar, “The Two Raymond Carvers”, Modernities Masters Programme, Glasgow University, 2013 and 2014.

Visiting speaker to MLitt Creative Writing, Glasgow University, 2013.

“The Writing Voice of Dieter Roth”, Dieter Roth, Dieter Roth and Art History, seminar at Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, October 2012.

Seminar, “The Personal Is Political: Embodied Protest and the Performance of Masculinity” Modernities Masters Programme, Glasgow University, 2011 and 2012.

Other professional activities

2012 –2013 Member of Editorial Board, GENERATION, 2014 nationwide exhibition.

2006 –2008 Chair of the board of The Common Guild, Glasgow.

2004 –2006 Board member of The Modern Institute, Glasgow.

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