For someone so skinny, Lewis seems to be quite obsessed with food. A massive fan of the making process, his latest project has been making a burger stack sculpture and burger packs. He has been spied in the workshops using a heat-gun (hair-dryer?) to melt the fake fake-cheese. It is definitely not fast food though, with the time that has gone into the burgers really contrasting with their real-food counterparts. I asked him what methods he had used to make the meat:
“Hand sanded poplar wooden bun with 4 layers of gloss varnish
Laser cut veneer sesame seeds appox: 800
2 part, heat sensitive silicone rubber, mould burger patty
Heat gun treated acrylic cheese
Heat sensitive silicone marbled rubber lettuce
Laser cut acrylic tomatoes
Laser cut ply wood pickles
Laser cut ply burger plaque
Laser cut acrylic hang tab
Vacuum formed onto burger wrapper backing.”
A couple of weeks ago he had an in-depth interview with Isabella, this is it:
How would you characterise your work?
I found the first projects I did were animations in first year, but now I’ve steered well away from that and got a lot more into making tangible objects. I don’t have many concepts or reasons behind my work, I don’t think it’s necessarily relevant in relation to the work which I produce. I just like to make things. Right now I am finishing my final show piece. The burgers. It’s three-dimensional and showcases a process and a celebration of materials.
Do you feel comfortable calling it art?
Yeah, I guess so.
Who is your favourite artist?
The internet is such a bastard thing, there’s so much available that I can’t really say who my favourite artist is anymore, there’s so much that I’m interested in. I think about my work experience a lot that was done with Anna Lomax. Seeing how the prop building world worked was an eye opener for me. I did my dissertation about collectives and multidisciplinary practices and learnt a lot about The Bauhaus that was very interesting. I also really like the New York Illustrator Tim Lahan and the works of Jeff Koons.
Where do you see yourself next?
I think I need a bit of time away from it, education I mean, I’ve been in education for years now, nearly 10 years and I think I need a bit of breathing space, time to do what I want work wise. I think interning with companies will help me discover what I want to do and where I’m going to sit because at the moment I’m still not too sure.
My final piece incorporates quite a lot: advertisement, branding, and there’s making and producing. I’ll have my own production line of my own way of working. But I think that if I work for a company I’ll be able to find my role. I’ll have to try a lot of things to help me discover what I want to focus on.
During what project did it click for you?
My favourite project I did last year was when we had to make editions. That’s something that came naturally to me; I have to be productive, hand make things, fabricate ideas. It’s what I like doing, making objects. What I want is interaction. I much prefer to present an object as opposed to an image on the wall, you get more out of the experience. Something tangible. If you see an object or an edition you can see that works been put in. I think about my audience quite a lot, how the work will be perceived, whether people are going to like it, if it’s to someone’s taste.
Who are you most concerned with pleasing, in your head?
Kind of myself. I’m never really happy, but if I carried on doing work until it was right, I’d never really finish, I’d never leave it alone.
What is your work process like from the seedling of the idea to the finished object? Where do you hit bumps along the way?
It takes me a long time to resolve a brief. College briefs are difficult, sometimes my first drawing will be the best one, but I can never accept that that might be the final thing. I feel I haven’t put enough work in, I can’t justify to myself that I’ve earnt it, there’s not enough weight, time or effort behind it. Development will happen, I’ll have a really creative stint then it sort of fizzles out, somehow I’ll pick it back up again and do loads of work at the last minute then think ‘shit, why didn’t I do that before?’. Shorter bursts of time work best for me because you just have to get it done. Now I’m starting to understand that I need to stick to a timetable, and regiment my time, to work on something until it’s done.
How did you feel about collaborative work?
I like to work with other people. I live with 3 of the guys that are on the course. We always go to the same events and are continuously telling each other about a piece of work or something that will be of interest to them. Back in 1st year ‘Stuhlgang’ naturally formed from a group project. We put on a show and released a couple of publications but it was forgotten about so we could all concentrate on our own work. I think as uni is ending we are all now talking about having a new show with a mixed bag of work.
The course has flown really well. What was the high point for you in terms of everything coming together? Projects, tutorials, feeling invigorated?
Two months before the final hand in I think I started getting it. I’m still not 100% sure about where my rubber burgers are going to end up in the industry but I am looking forward to trying to give my art career a go. I feel a bit more comfortable with the work that I am producing and I guess I just need to keep at it. I don’t know what it is that I want to do when I finish, I’ll probably become a postman because the majority of my family either has been or still is :)
Have a look at Lewis’ gallery page here.