Alban Low has been a friend of ALL since its inception. Here we look at some of Alban’s many artistic endeavours.
When Alban Low contacted us in 2012 for the original Text&Context exhibition to say that he would like to do a SMartWalk around Cambridge, our first response was ‘Yes please!’ and our second response was ‘but what exactly is a SMartWalk?’
It turns out that SMartWalking (“Restreeting England, One Tweet at a Time”) and indeed many of Alban’s other projects are wonderfully creative ways to engage people directly with art and unexpected encounters – two of the things we particularly love at ALL.
So it came about that Alban and fellow SMartWalker Harvey Wells walked around Cambridge via GPS to spell out “T&C” on Google Maps, whilst simultaneously placing magnetic Tweets for people to find as souvenirs.
Alban visited us again for ALL2013 to place adverts in newsagents windows asking for ‘Love O.N.O’ …
… and for ALL2014 Alban’s magnetic art returned with an alternative trail of Blue Plaques, in which members of the public were invited to nominate themselves (or others) for their very own circular disk of fame.
Above: Alban Low in the video for his Cambridge Blue Plaque project
The project included a map of all the genuine Cambridge Blue Plaques, designed by Alban. “Thanks to ALL I now have a handy side line in mapmaking.” he says. “I still sell a few Cambridge Blue Plaque Walk Maps every year.” [You can buy yours here!]
The maps themselves are a work of art, which is not so surprising once you realise that Alban is also a professional draughtsman, designing album covers and making impromptu sketches from the London jazz scene.
As if this weren’t enough, Alban is also taking a hand in reviving the family publishing firm, Sampson Low Ltd, running a series of innovative chapbook projects as well as standing up for mental health and support services with projects such as On The Map and The Art of Caring.
All of Alban’s projects share a sense of inclusivity, possibility and playful intervention. They show how art can be a positive voice in the community. Alban, it has been a pleasure to get to know you through ALL. We really must do something together again soon!