Lewis's photographs present us with the wasted remnants of 19th century disciplinary institutions. Distressed and abandoned, his work has become a physical reminder of an oppressive and frequently cruel discourse, which still haunts contemporary dealings with the mentally ill. Shards and scraps of crinkled house paint collect in flaky piles on the floor. Doors are ajar, opening onto views down corridors along which patients were once led, and into the rooms in which they were once confined. The old asylums have long been disused, and their empty spaces present us with an intense psychological charge which bristles with a disturbing tension.
Lewis, who is yet to convert to digital photography, celebrates traditional large format photography. The exhibition of his photographic works at Londonart.co.uk have all been shot on 5x4 negative and have not been altered digitally, “All my trickery is done through patience and exposure” he says, adding, “I am a very technical photographer; I can wait in a room behind a camera all day waiting for the light to change. I have a very specific vision of what the shot will look like before setting up, this makes my image making very time consuming, exposure and composition are paramount. The relationship between my art practice and research are equal, if I can relate and understand the subject the better chance I will have that my message will project to the viewer.”
Lewis' stimulus comes from a plethora of sources, from music and film to the architecture that has inspired the work exhibited at London Art. “I am interested in exploring how architecture can be used as a tool to project a message, and the effect this message has on the user and how it is translated through the architecture…I am interested in the indexical trace and how empty spaces resonate memory and occupation… my work is largely based around environments where confinement and control are the underlying factors.'”
Lewis' art practice is such that it cannot be churned out on demand; his creative productivity cannot be stipulated or made to order, “I am someone who only shoots when I have the inspiration to do so. I have had previous experience of shooting and working in the commercial industry for over 10 years, I left the Advertising field after many years of compromising my imagery, and so in that respect I am a poorer but more satisfied artist. I will only shoot what I like when I want to, I now have the privilege of time, sometimes taking up to six months on a single image.” An approach such as Lewis' to fine art practice makes each of his photographs an exceptionally rare treasure.
Lewis has won a host of photography awards, including being voted London’s contemporary photographer of the year. He has had work featured in many publications including, Creative Review and Professional Photographer magazine. His work is in private collections across Europe and ranges from 350 to 900 GBP.
To view Lloyd's gallery please click here