Oil, acrylic, charcoal, ink on canvas
Dimensions: 125cm (H) x 90cm (W) x 3cm (D) / 49.2" (H) x 35.4" (W) x 1.2" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
This is inspired by the British Summer. There’s nostalgia running through it. It reminds me of water fights - fought on tarmac, which was just as warm as the sun’s rays, with scraped knees and plastic. In fact, I applied the ink with a water gun. But the overarching logic behind the piece was in relation to the weather. The ink, as it drips down, becomes like rain interrupting a sunny day. It’s alright because it will only last for a few minutes and then the sky will be clear again. The text, “the greatest”, is part of a thought I had along the lines of “It’s a struggle right now, but I guarantee you I will be one of the greatest artists alive” … The shortened version isn’t as much of a mouthful, and it’s broad enough for viewers to apply it to themselves.
Based in: Leicester
Lewis Buttery’s works are mostly about mental health and social class. His style, as a result, is like a mix of expressionism and street art.
Lewis was born in Leicester, UK and was introduced to the art world by local charity Soft Touch Arts in 2013 - after dropping out of his A Levels during his worst period with his mental health. He immediately started practicing as a self-taught artist, taking part in a group residency and exhibitions that year. The following year he started delivering workshops on behalf of the charity: which he continued doing until 2018 within arts organisations, schools, youth clubs, council estates, and prisons.
During that period Lewis was in the local paper and on the local BBC Radio station more than once. He was involved with numerous big projects, like curating Leicester's leg of the touring Generation Art exhibition and being a speaker on the corresponding panel talk.
In 2016 Lewis decided that he wanted to improve his skills - so he chose to do a Foundation in Art & Design alongside his professional practice, part time at De Montfort University. Upon completion, in 2018, he then began a full-time BA in Fine Art at UAL: Central Saint Martins. While there he was awarded the annual BWW residency with Liquitex, and also took part in the Tate Exchange programme at Tate Modern. He ended up graduating during a COVID lockdown in 2021.
Since then Lewis has been living and working back home in Leicestershire. He’s gotten involved with the Working Class Creatives Database - exhibiting in group shows with them and having spoken at the WCBAN x WCCD: Know Your Working Class Artists event, hosted online by the Southbank Centre.
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