Priscilla Lowry’s background is in teaching and for many years she owned Gallery St John in Remuera in Auckland, specializing in wearable art in silk.
She gained her BA from Auckland University, majoring in Art History and Education and her Masters in Medieval History from London University. In London she was the Director of the Schuster Gallery, which specialized in antique prints, antiquarian books and her special area of expertise, Medieval Manuscripts. It was her experience and academic work that led to the publication of her two books on the history of Silk, both published in the UK. The third book, The World of Silk is due for publication at the end of March.
The period at the Schuster Gallery was followed by full time teaching and lecturing on silk all over the UK. She included demonstrations of identifying, spinning and working with different silks and a fashion parade of her original designs for handspun, knitted and dyed silk garments as part of the lively programme.
She traveled extensively to China, India, Thailand, Korea, Turkey, Uzbekistan, France and Italy in search of silk and sericulture and on her regular trips backwards and forwards to New Zealand, she was the guest speaker and directed workshops in the US, Canada, Australia and Thailand.
After her permanent move back to New Zealand she taught at Auckland University on many aspects of Medieval History as well as being invited to lecture and give workshops around New Zealand and at major Fibre Festivals. These include Masterton in 2004 and Taradale in 2006, the Selector at the Creative Fibre Exhibition in Wellington 2005 and the New Zealand Fibre & Fleece Fashion Awards and Exhibition in Opotiki 2006. For three years she was also Convenor of the Fashion Parades at the Home Show in Auckland.
Her first solo exhibition after her return to New Zealand was at NorthArt in Auckland, intitled SILK: DECONSTRUCTED. RECONSTRUCTED. This was followed by an invitation to be the guest exhibitor at Shore Stitchers bi-annual exhibition 2011. In 2012 she and Master Printmaker Joan Taylor, held a very successful exhibition called “OFF THE WALL” at The Depot in Devonport.
Priscilla has recently co-hosted two exciting trips across the Old Silk Road, in 2011 and in 2013. The second one, In the Footsteps of Marco Polo, began in Venice, crossed Turkey, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and China and finished in Shanghai. She also continues to be the guest speaker and to give workshops to Spinning and Weaving Guilds, Embroiderers, Patchwork, Quilters, U3A, Probus, Rotary and at other public events. In preparation at this time, is a lecture tour to the UK May 2014.
After the closure of the Department at Auckland University, Priscilla continued to teach many of the courses from Devonport, but recently, after a change of heart, the University decided to offer again some of the most successful courses, and Priscilla has been asked to lecture again, the first course to be offered in 2014 MEDIEVAL MEDICINE: IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH in March. This course is full, but it will be followed in July by MEDIEVAL FOOD: FEAST AND FAST, beginning on Friday, 25th July, 10-12pm also on the Auckland City Campus .
Priscilla will also be teaching on the Selwyn College Campus. The first course, starting on Thursday 20th March 2-4pm will be THE HISTORY OF FASHION, Pt 1 for four weeks, followed after she returns from two months teaching in the UK with Pt 2 of THE HISTORY OF FASHION, beginning on Thursday 20th July also for 4 weeks. These courses will be followed by a series of 6 lectures entitled THE SECRETS OF SILK beginning on Thursday 21st August and THE SILK ROAD on Thursday 30th October. Please contact Auckland University or Selwyn College www.selwyncomed.school.nz for more information and to enroll.
For more information about her books and topics for the talks and workshops, please contact her at email@example.com