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Shortlisted for Ironstone Art Prize

Ben Lewis, one of our Sixth Form artists, has been shortlisted for the Ironstone Art Prize at Banbury Museum.

"With my topic initially starting looking at architecture, I found a big interest in an abstract style through looking into Russian constructivism. This quickly lead me on to looking into Bauhaus, where I was quite excited with the idea of minimalizing things down to a simplistic style and function. I noticed that I was doing this anyway with some previous works, before even looking at the Bauhaus movement.

Shapes influence my work a lot. By shapes I mean the forms you can see in everyday objects without even knowing. For example, when you look at a face, you can look at it realistically and draw it realistically, but I always found that a bit boring and tedious to do. For me, it was about finding a way to represent what was in front of me in a quick interesting way, whilst still having it more aesthetically interesting. I do this through looking at the different array and layers of shapes that you can see. A cheek can look like a triangle, a chin, a circle. It all depends on the physical appearance of the thing/person in front of me. This gives all works that individuality, despite being more simplistic in nature than photorealism. 

When I started to look at Kandinsky's dancing theories, and works attached,  I realized how much variety there really can be in abstracting. This prompted me to do works in this “style” whilst pushing it towards my own mediums, preferred colour scheme and aesthetics. These works can be seen all together as a group of 16 separate sketches that I did. You can look at different parts of the human body, being represented in shape and colour as a whole, from an outside view, or more intimately, as single shapes or a collection of shapes, that creates interesting and different pieces. That’s probably the thing I have found most interesting. The fact you can view my pieces as you want, with whatever idea about them. Or simplify as a visually aesthetic thing with no meaning. I think that is the beauty of abstraction." Ben Lewis