What’s your background?Robert Lewis

Born in Hendon, London. I originally worked/trained in machine-shop engineering, following in the family tradition, but went on to study at art school (Canterbury/Maidstone) where I studied Fine Art and Illustration (achieving an honours degree). I have drifted into other creative practices over the years, such as furniture making and producing Natural History exhibit reproductions on commission (fossils, anatomical models, etc). More recently an interest in sound and sound art has grown …originally incorporating it into some of the 3d work that I produced. My first passion in art was painting, driven by a love of 70s album cover art as a schoolboy/teenager, specifically the work of the likes of Roger Dean and Patrick Woodroffe.

Explain what you do in 100 words

My work utilises the language of our industrial past, its romantic, heroic and sometimes sinister associations, to reflect on more human concerns. Arguably, as we become more entrenched in an environment dominated by our use of technology, that aesthetic increasingly seems somehow more representative of the ‘human condition’ than that of the ‘natural’ world.

The construction methods I use are as unobtrusive as possible, so as not to be a distraction from the intentions of the work. I have a strong interest in the processes of putting things together… the juctapositioning of materials and objects so as to create either a visual harmony or sense of unease as is appropriate.

What five words best describe your work?

The Construction of Light

The Construction of Light

Industrial, Utopian, Dystopian, Monolithic, Post-Human

What are you working on at the moment?
I have just started a series (working title ‘Flightless’) using an aesthetic loosely drawn from, or reflecting, aviation design. The principal idea being that the work will be visually ‘rooted’ to the ground creating an intrinsic paradox for me to create a narrative around.

Which three artists most inspire you?
Cathy De Monchaux (specifically her earlier work), Anthony Caro, Brothers Quay.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Whatever you choose to do, follow it through to conclusion …always resist the temptation to ‘throw your hands up in despair’.

Favourite or most inspirational place in Yorkshire

In general the ‘big skies’ and panoramic views of The Vale of York, but in particular, the higher ground around where I used to live at Marton Le Moor, between Ripon and Boroughbridge, where you can turn from viewing the Dales on the horizon to the west to see the North Yorkshire Moors to the east.

Tell us something we don’t know

Most people prefer a blue toothbrush …only in my mind as I have today visited the dentist (and faced a very informative poster in the waiting room).



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