Information Release: St Ives' September Art Show
Four years after being re-housed, and giving up selling the Big Issue street magazine, disabled artist Graham Lewis has had time to concentrate on his painting. He's an individual, an eccentric with a paintbrush. Now he's ready to stun us with contemporary art inspired by reality, already he's regarded as remarkable! From Tuesday 2nd till the end of September fourteen affordable pieces will decorate the Greta Williams Community Room of St Ives library. Rightly proud of skills learnt at Doncaster School of Art, Graham smiles whilst whispering: “They're all my babies, I'm so proud!” St Ives September Art Show coincides with St Ives September Festival, a cultural high for the Cornish colony. Don't miss it! To find out more please contact Graham Lewis at Studio Three, Alexandra Road, St Ives TR26 1ET Tel: 0845 456 2172 or 0777 279 7540 or email: [email protected]
When the press release for 2006’s recycled art exhibition ‘Re-Worked’ at Penarth’s Washington Gallery read ‘One entry offered himself as a recycled exhibit, as well as his exhibit of orange cartons, collected from where he slept rough.’ I knew I‘d stumbled across an individual. Graham Lewis arrived in St Ives as the colony’s Big Issue vendor; proving even disabled people can become homeless. But life hadn’t always been on the downside, as a young man he’d studied art in Doncaster – “My first influences were Jack the Dripper (Jackson Pollock) and Kandinsky, the grandfather of abstractionism.” – before adopting a career in journalism. Four years ago the local council re-housed Graham, releasing him to pick up his brushes again. “I was lucky, after a while I’d rebuilt the confidence to approach local gallery owners, and after much pestering Bob Devereux agreed to represent me at The Salt House.” But that wasn’t enough for Graham, his lifelong support for d-a demanded more. Last year the Newlyn Art Gallery member, who’s also served time with Tate St Ives, applied to join the board of south-west dada Equata (he covered their Salisbury re-launch as Kaleido for DAO in February.) Although not accepted for the job he impressed then-director Richard Cragg suffice to be invited to join the steering committee for Cornwall’s first disability arts festival. Alongside cardboard-sculptor James Lake and blind-artist Barry Goodfellow, Graham’s expressionist abstracts provided a significant contribution to ‘Djamu!’ (meaning ‘I am here!’ in Aborigine.) at Penzance’s Acorn Arts Centre. Now he’s working with Acorn director Toni Kirk to implement a dada for Cornwall. He’s also served as an ambassador for Equata to Disability Arts in Shropshire’s @Barriers’ project, and to Edinburgh Fringe. So maybe there’s some truth in karma? St Ives’ September Arts Show runs alongside St Ives September Festival, a cultural highpoint for West Cornwall featuring fourteen beautiful, yet affordable, pieces. “It’s easy to stay a big fish in a little pond,” maintains Graham cautiously, “but in town of four hundred working artists from a population of ten thousand it’s nerve-wracking! But they’re all my babies, I’m so proud!” St Ives’ September Art Show is free to view in the Greta Williams community Room of St Ives Library, according to normal library opening hours.
02 Sep 2008 - 30 Sep 2008