'In one of his most ambitious works to date Peter Lewis has built a modern Sphinx, that great mythical beast of the oriental world. The cat like body in white clay with what appears to be smoke-fired markings is topped by a helmeted soldier's head. Based on photographs of fighters of the US 7th Marine Regiment who had blackened their faces and even fixed horns to their helmets, the form has a strangely sinister quality- like a twenty first century idol. But it becomes all the more eerie when it is seen in a darkened room, lit from below with glowing red light....... (Extract from The Camouflage of Truth, by Moira Vincentelli, ISBN 1-903409-06-3).'
(The US 7th Marine Regiment was one of the first to enter Iraq during the invasion of 2003).
The ‘SHRINE AT NEMI’ Commission
An outdoor installation at Rufford Abbey Country Park, Nottinghamshire, based on the theme of Sir John Savile's Victorian excavations at the Roman Shrine of Diana Nemorensis in Nemi, Italy. Lord Savile excavated the Temple of Diana at Nemi for eight months in 1885. Part of the finds from this temple site now rest in the Castle Museum at Nottingham, some have been displayed at Rufford Abbey itself.
The present small town of Nemi lies 16 miles south east of Rome, in the 4th Century BC a temple to Diana was built at this location.
The installation comprises of a replica temple that incorporates six viewing portals, inside each location rests a ceramic votive. The votive setting is a mirror box that multiplies the image, eventually disappearing into infinity. This concept reflects our desire to explore the past and each mirror frame encapsulates the passing of centuries. The piece is completed by an adjacent column that is crowned by the head of Diana.
The work celebrates the use of natural materials such as fine grain sandstone, clay and coloured glazes, echoing previous craft traditions of the time.
(More information can be found at www.speculum-dianae.nottingham.ac.uk).
Childhood Dreams – from Ramallah to Wythenshawe
Supported by the Arts Council England, this project began in Manchester moving to Ramallah in the Occupied Territories. For the Palestinian children it was an opportunity to participate in an experience that looked beyond their immediate situation. Many children have been traumatised by events and their education fragmented due to continued occupation, sporadic incursions and curfews.
The project encouraged each group to consider their immediate environment, including likes/dislikes, hopes, desires and aspirations for the future. The everyday perspectives of children from the West and East were brought together, their daily routines and experiences being documented.
The visual images and text generated from the project was used to create a figurative piece for the grounds of The Imperial War Museum North.
(The project was also supported by Manchester City Art Gallery, The Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre, Ramallah, Benchill Primary School & The Evangelical School of Hope).