This collection of work by artist Jillian Lewis examines the relationship with man-made objects and their natural processes of redundancy and decay.
The three-dimensional works, either as original artefacts extricated from the environment or as simulacra created by the artist, are presented as rarefied art objects to directly provoke the spectator into creating meaning and narrative. The paintings provide a conventional landscape format but rather than portray traditional notions of the natural world and its ‘mellow fruitfulness’ the artist explores the decay of industry that blights those landscapes. But in so doing reveals a contemporary form of nostalgia, one that resonates for those who worked within it and lived from it.
It is the material redundancy and decay, which become transitory elements of our physical and emotional landscapes, that the artist is exploring. An elemental snapshot of change is presented as if a memory, capturing a momentary condition the viewer is asked to consider.
The processes of change and the certainties that all things must eventually pass evoke universal themes of impermanence and mortality. The artist uses traditional materials such as paint and ceramics combined with modified and found objects to explore, rather than to explain, these themes of change and decay, memory and identity. Through the medium of industrial artefacts and landscapes these materials, charged with a physical and emotional presence, are used to arouse sensations of impermanence, frailty and the persistence of time.
It is not the purpose of art to be nice or maintain traditional notions of beauty. Art is more than that, art should function beyond the pictorial and engage both the emotion and intellectual faculties of the observer. It is not about enjoyment but experience.
Art at its worst is little more than purely decorative and emotionally saccharine. At its best art works to challenge and provoke our personal prejudices and normative beliefs. There is no requirement that art should necessarily demonstrate great craft but should demonstrate creative intent.
There are no boundaries in art only the reluctance or timidity of the artist and viewer to explore beyond the normal limits of everyday experience.