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Simon Lewis-Wards is an Auckland based Sculptural Artist that has a bit of a sweet tooth. Simon's works are inspired by nostalgia and we are sure you're familiar with them. We decided we wanted to know a little bit more about Simon and his practice as an artist.
What Is Your Creative Goal For 2020?
Completing two large scale public installations that I began work on last year. They’ll be the most fully imagined representations of my core aesthetic so far.
What do you make / what is your art practice?
I’m a sculptor, predominantly working in glass but I incorporate other media depending on what suits my idea best.
What does a normal day look like for you?
Grind coffee, deliver child to school, arrive at my Titirangi studio. I start at 9am and graft until about 5pm. Everything that I make starts and finishes at the studio.
How did it all begin - where did this passion for Glassmaking come from?
One of my best friend’s fathers was a founder of the art glass studio movement back when we were kids. The creative spirit didn’t suit Auckland boys grammar so after being nicely asked to leave a few of my friends and I ended up working at a glass studio.
Where do you find inspiration as an Artist? What are the themes/inspiration/stories behind your pieces?
I find it in memories. I try and capture physical representations of special times in my life. In the process of doing that I’ve found the people around me also share these feelings, part of me thinks they might be the best times of our lives and it would be a sad thing to lose them. Nostalgia is the common theme.
What do you love most about working & living in Aotearoa?
People really support local artists and there’s an appreciation for locally made. The can-do attitude of other small businesses is very inspiring to me. I find that people will work to get any job done, I lived in Paris for 4 years and it was the exact opposite. On a more personal note, living overseas also made me realise how important it is to me to be close to family and friends. And of course the beaches and greenery are the cliche answer for a reason, they’re amazing. They bring me peace, especially out in Waitakere where I live and work.
How has your artwork changed over time?
It hasn’t so much. As my pieces are all handmade the craftsmanship is definitely better as I’ve refined my skills. I feel like I’m finding my voice as an artist, and am better able to articulate the themes that were there from the beginning.
How/Has the digital space affected your artwork?
For one of the larger scale pieces I’m working on I’m collaborating with a digital cutting studio to help produce a set of couch sized Knucklebones. Technology is redefining the boundaries of what’s possible.
What is your studio/creative space like?
I’m lucky enough to have found my dream space. It’s an industrial warehouse that you’d usually find in the city, but it’s placed up on the ridge of the Waitakere ranges. When I’m getting inside my own head I walk out the roller door and the expansive views out to the Kaipara Harbour instantly calm me. My girlfriend also says it’s the perfect spot for a first date.
What drew you to working with The Poi Room? Describe your relationship with The Poi Room & how our values fit with your business.
The Poi Room was one of my first galleries. They’ve always been amazingly supportive of not just me, but many of our local artists. They’ve been extremely patient as I’ve developed the business side of things, which definitely wasn’t my strength to start out with! We’re currently working on a custom installation for the store, which we’ll launch soon and are really excited to share.