Lewis Paul’s practice engages questions of masculine identity both subjectively and within a broader historical relationship of class (working men), family and forms of representation. Encompassing a transdisciplinary approach, Lewis produces films, photographic work and sculptural objects considering relationships between story, narrative and material.
Lewis produces highly crafted 35mm film work, for example ‘Documentary Evidence, (we are not your audience)’ commissioned by Southeast Arts, UK. 35mm film portraits, screened on 4 screens at the Odeon Hastings, UK July to August 2002. (2001-2002), represent men working with machines, reclaiming the importance of haptic skills and craft based endeavor within the frame of cinematic representation. In recent work, ‘Re-claimation Mark’ (2012) filmed across London underneath a 1978 Landrover, a study of legacy format video (dvsp) in 4:3 ratio produces a reflexive space considering the body as a tool of filmmaking, a site of geographic empowerment and a boundary point between representational modes of viewing and being seen.
Lewis considers within his sculptural practice the role of invention through possible collisions between expected modes of dress, costume and the system of fashion as outward symbols of male and class identity. Working with modified clothing and producing objects that recombine clothing tropes Lewis reconsiders ascribed material values and engages with questions of habitat, a boundary between clothing as veil, symbol and mobile metonym. Recent work re-constructing men’s suits for example ‘Principles for men’ (2010), ‘Made in Australia’(2011) and tweed jackets ‘Country Casuals’ (2012) begins to reform sartorial codes of mimesis. Aspiring to be highly crafted these soft sculptural forms reflect the role of craft and making within the tailoring tradition, but often with room for maneuver and humour.
Lewis Paul is Senior Lecturer at the Northern Film School, Leeds Metropolitan University and lives and works in London.