Tristin Lowe


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Exhibition Notes, Number 36, 2010. The moon, Earth's only satellite, has been a source of mystery and wonder since the beginning of recorded history, and probably before that as well. Inspired to understand its powerful presence and effects— from gravitational pull, tidal flow, and magnetic fields to its impact on animal and human behavior— artists and writers as well as scientists have studied the moon for centuries.

Using low-tech but labor-intensive methods and materials, sculptor Tristin Lowe has created an interpretation of the moon to fill the Museum's Lower Farago Gallery. Lunacy is an inflatable sphere, about twelve and a half feet in diameter, that is covered in white felt, an ancient fabric, formed through a process of matting and pressing, that absorbs energy, light, and sound. The felt surface, composed of fourteen sections sewn together, is astonishingly hand-worked. Myriad raised craters and rings approximate rather than replicate the moon's terrain.

Lowe's previous interpretations of animate and inanimate objects, often made from unexpected materials ranging from bourbon and smoke to fabric and fur, are characteristically comical and absurd. In contrast, his current work, which focuses on outer space, planets, satellites, black holes, gravity, and orbital motion, seems more subdued and contemplative but equally surprising.

Publication Date

Summer 2010

Document Type



Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design


Providence, Rhode Island


RISD Museum, Exhibition Catalog, Exhibition Notes, absurd, felt, lunarscape, moon, inflatable


Art and Design

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Tristin Lowe Under the Influence