Dunedin artist Peter Lewis is excited to be exhibiting his collage work at Roar! Gallery in Wellington. The fact he was asked to be part of the Wellington exhibition made it even more special, Lewis said. “It means they appreciate the work you’re doing. “I’m definitely excited about it because it opens up a whole new audience for me.”
His exhibition “Scalpelicious – The Collage Art Of Peter Lewis” runs from today until September 17.
Lewis describes his art as “surrealism” of part now, part old, and part simply surreal fun and games. He is quick to add that his work is not a big statement on humanity, instead more visual impact with humour.
His use of nostalgic images and pictures from old children’s books appeals to his sense of humour. “I like to flick through a book of pictures to see what I can find and cut out”, he said. “My childhood memories were of making up my own mystery and magic with no rules and limitations attached,” he said.
What he loves about collage art is being able to pack a lot of detail into it, and while a certain amount of patience is needed – each piece takes many hours – he finds it therapeutic. Lewis said it was important not to be “too rigid” when creating a collage, as certain images could change direction from what was initially envisaged.
Lewis uses past popular culture and mixes it with the present. One could be forgiven for thinking it is nonsense at first, but once your eyes delve deep into the picture a better understanding and logic develops.
Renowned collage artist and illustrator Winston Smith, of San Francisco, was amazed by Lewis’ “magnificent respendence” of his compositions. He was quoted on the internet’s Warpart Collage Gallery that “Peter is perhaps the most prolific collage artist I know of”. “His work resembles a kaleidoscope of colour with swirling images cascading in all directions, defying gravity and challenging the viewer to make sense of this topsy-turvy world that his compositions evoke.”
Lewis – a website developer – is already known in Dunedin for his work in art and electronic pop music. He has exhibited at the former Cleveland Art Gallery and played at Arc Cafe. He will perfom live at the opening of Scalpelicious. Lewis, a collage artist for 15 years, will showcase 50 pieces of his work in paper, framed and canvas forms.