Coda, 2017, Porcelain and Glass.
LUCILLE LEWIN. SERIES: THE TIME BETWEEN THE TIME
Connolly hosts sculptor Lucille Lewin's first solo show
November 2017 - February 2018
14 new porcelain and glass pieces by Lewin will be exhibited through December and January, rounding off an incredible year for the artist that has seen her fresh aesthetic and innovative technique lauded by the British art world. Lewin won the 2017 Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize for her graduation collection from the Royal College of Art. Her work was inspired by the history of 18th century porcelain – pioneered by alchemists held in custody by European royalty – as well as the early microscopic photography of Karl Blosfeldt. “We were looking for originality and a strong voice,” explained Daniella Wells of the Craft Council. “We were in total harmony about our choice of winner. Lucille’s work is experimental, beautifully made and totally original; this is work with a future.”
The new work on show at Connolly, 4 Clifford Street, shows Lewin further developing a painstaking technique combining innovative chemistry with incendiary temperatures. The results resemble objects that that have been grown in a laboratory or at the bottom of the sea in wild and forceful natural elements rather than shaped by hand. “These pieces take months to create,” explains Lewin, who is also celebrated in the fashion world for launching the immensely influential Whistles chain in the 1970s. “I use a magnifying glass and tweezers while I’m working, but certain elements are overtly gestural.” Her muscular as well as meticulous approach to shaping her materials is evident in the base of a piece like ‘Coda’, which looks like the intense whirl of the ocean around coral, or something glimpsed through the most incredible and strange crystals. “It is a feminine energy, explains Lewin. “It is emotional and communicative and made with great detail.”
This exhibition, which Lewin describes as consisting of “14 different pieces with a common handwriting”, is based on the idea of the human race rapidly making itself redundant, being overtaken by everything from prosthetics to artificial intelligence. Hence the show’s title: The Time Between the Time: A Journey to Obsolescence. “This work is about the ending of one process and the start of another,” she explains.” It’s a universal theme, reflected in the titles of the work: ‘Beyond the Campfire’; ‘Transitional Threshold’ and ‘Outside the Edge’.”
Lewin’s work is defined by a kind of organic chaos. It is shaped, she says, “by the kiln gods” as well as her own intention, grounded initially in sketch form but then taking on a life of its own. The beauty of the work also comes from its monochrome nature. “What other colour could these pieces be?” she asks, rhetorically. “They could only be white. I live entirely in white. My clothes, my bedroom, my home. It is peaceful.”