Meet the Artist, Simon Lewis-Wards, Black Door Gallery

Images: Simon Lewis-Wards, Giant Knucklebones. Cast Concrete. 1500 x 1000 x 500mm each (approximately 300kg each). Images courtesy of the artist and Black Door Gallery.

The 2022 Art Fair will again be featuring an outdoor sculpture space overlooking the harbour.  One of the more interactive sculptures will be Simon Lewis-Wards‘ Giant Knucklebones which visitors will be welcome to sit or climb on.

Presented by Black Door Gallery Simon Lewis-Wards’ work is synonymous with childhood nostalgia. They conjure that experience of growing up in Aotearoa in the second half of the 20th century, a time of sweets and games, playing with the neighbourhood kids outside in the long summer evenings and spending all your hard-earned pocket money at the corner dairy.  The artist has developed a body of work that seeks to inspire a sense of childlike excitement, oscillating between nostalgia and pop-culture, and often playing with scale to enhance the viewing experience.

Giant Knucklebones explores the childhood game knucklebones, an iconic children’s activities in New Zealand. The name knucklebones is derived from the Ancient Greek version of the game, but there are different variants of the game from various cultures using objects such as stones, seashells and seeds. Many are also familiar with the American version- Jacks. Wards’ Knucklebones are modelled on sheep knucklebones, are up-sized to 1.5m wide and made in cast concrete. When placed in an outdoor setting they look as if they have been tossed mid-game.

Simon Lewis Wards’ aesthetic is about having fun and bringing humour into the art world. Inspired by international Pop Artists and American artist’s such as Jeff Koons, Simon Lewis-Wards aims to explore popular culture and elevate everyday objects to a new level.

Simon Lewis Wards was recently appointed as one of three judges for the 2022 IHC Art Awards.