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Taking reference from the forensic, crime scene photography of the1940’s, and historic, scientific drawings of natural history, Lewis documents the sculptural stillness of dead trees that appear motionless and lifeless in the landscape.
The study of dead trees Lewis is presenting here reflects a narrative of events, the event was never seen or reported, as the process of dying happened over a period of time, where the division between life and death became ambiguous and unimportant. It is quite possible the dead state of the tree could actually outlast their period of living, bringing into question the memory of life after death and the event of death. The object, or the life of the object may have been transient, however in death it becomes frozen and influences our notion of the idea of an object.
Lewis maintains a nocturnal schedule, inspired by Arthur Fellig, or Weegee as he is more commonly known, exposing his subjects to light that give his subject an uncanny quality, something that removes the tree from its apparent timeless context. Resonating a similar process to the crime scene aesthetic of the 1940’s. Whereas forensic imagery often associates itself with the macabre and the aftermath of the event, Lewis’s photographs take a more scientific-aesthetic, a view inspired by the beauty and detail found in what the Renaissance artists called ‘the science of describing’.
Elements of this naturalist approach can be found as early as the 12th century and later became dominant in the Flemish art of the 15th century. Using a combination of linear perspective and naturalism, Lewis references these characteristics found in the illustrations of the natural history books of the 16th century, where visual language was used instead of the written word to describe and document the subject as a means of evidence.
Dead Tree's Event 1 to Event 6 was purchased by the Contemporary Art Society Of Wales in 2016 and is now on permanent display at Monmouthshire County Hall, as the winner of The Purchase Price at The National Eisteddfod Of Wales
Richard Lloyd Lewis
Born in the South Wales valleys Richard Lloyd Lewis is a UK based photographer and artist, his passion is rooted in documentary / architectural projects that investigate subjects that hide or are hidden away from the public gaze. Lewis has exhibited nationally for over 20 years and his works are now held in notable private and museum collections. Lewis has exhibited nationally alongside artists such as Tracey Emin, Steve Pyke, Hannah Starkey, Gavin Turk, Nadav Kander, Martin Parr, Paul M ...
Life Framer is a renowned platform for discovering and celebrating contemporary photography from emerging and professional artists around the world. It hosts an independent award where each Edition there are 12 monthly call for entries, each overseen by a world-renowned photographer or industry professional. To date judges have included Steve McCurry, Mona Kuhn, Martin Parr, David Alan Harvey and Alison Morley from the ICP, as well as representatives from MoMA and Tate Modern. Winners have been showcased at gallery exhibitions ...