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Lucille Lewin at Connolly

British sculptor Lucille Lewin: The Time Between Time

My first collection was based on the travels of Mr Pitt, whose collection of artefacts, trivia, and tribal ephemera is displayed in the original Victorian Vitrines in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.

The Time Between Time And Our Relationship With Chaos, Nature And Our Planet

My most treasured collection…

My first collection was based on the travels of Mr Pitt, whose collection of artefacts, trivia, and tribal ephemera is displayed in the original Victorian Vitrines in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. While I was a student, the research museum became my favourite and I based my final show at the City Lit to earn my Diploma with a fictitious Victorian Explorers collection––imagined in a shed which had been rediscovered with all its treasures intact, but forgotten on the grounds of a dilapidated country house.

Lucille Lewin portrait by Lucy Fitter
Lucille Lewin portrait by Lucy Fitter

My latest collection…

My most recent work is called The Time Between Time’ and reflects the place we are in at the moment as humans, examining the chaotic nature of our times, and the relationship we have with nature and our planet.

My upcoming exhibition…

I showcased at Collect18 at the Saatchi Gallery. Because I won the Young Masters Maylis Art Prize, I had a large space to display my installation comprising individual pieces, which can be combined and viewed conceptually as a whole.

Travels inspire my art…

Travelling is very important to me, because it provides a new perspective, and this informs my work. I am inspired by nature––landscape, exotic plants, botanical items, objects found on a beach, collected in the desert, and stones on a beach, all find their way into my work. I spend time in museums and art galleries when I travel, as well as hiking, and going on Safari. I have spent a great deal of time in Japan, and I know it is a cliché, but the concept of Wabi-sabi has been important to me and had been a great influence. Born and raised in South Africa, I still go back once a year and travel extensively. The bush, sea, light, vegetation and the dust inspire me I think time travel would be my most favoured travel experience. I would like to be able to travel back and forward and would dearly love to be able to stop time for a bit to provide a way to contemplate.

My favourite city…

Although Paris, New York and Cape Town come close, London is my favourite city without any doubt, it is a perfect combination of new and old, traditional and cool, full of eccentric people free to do what they are good at. Creatively, it is ethnically diverse, and physically it is beautiful. I still get a thrill walking around after living here since 1970! I look at London both as an outsider and as a resident.

My recommended hidden gems…

Hazlitt’s in Soho is a curious hotel which still retains the creaky floors and antique furnishings making it the most atmospheric hotels in London. There are so many unusual galleries in odd places throughout London, but one of the most curious must be The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, which also doubles as a cocktail bar, on Mare Street in east London.

White Lights II by Lucille Lewin ©Sylvain Deleu
White Lights II by Lucille Lewin ©Sylvain Deleu

An avocado bar just opened on Floral Street in Covent Garden, talk about niche. Sadlers Wells Theatre is my favourite place where champions dance all kinds of ways. The Discount Suit Company is one of the new, difficult-to-find bars that masquerade as something totally different, only for those in the know; don’t go there expecting to find a suit! Kew Gardens must be at the top of the list for nature lovers, visit the exhibition by Rebecca Louise Law: Life in Death, composed of hanging flowers and The Hive, an extraordinary feat of engineering highlighting the life of bees.

My travel must-haves…

My travel must-haves are all based on comfort. I take my down pillow everywhere, even to the best hotels which have pillow libraries. I take a change of undies and a fresh T-shirt in my handbag if I check my luggage, ever since we lost our luggage in Moscow on our way to Tokyo. A black Pashmina to put over my head to block out the cabin lights and keep me warm as inevitably the cabin can feel too cold.

Divine Vision by Lucille Lewin image by Sylvain Deleu
Divine Vision by Lucille Lewin image by Sylvain Deleu

My weekend retreat…

I have been going to Greyshott Hall in Surry over the past30 years for weekend retreats when I need a total break from everything. A slightly faded health farm in the country, it is not chic, not smart, but the facilities are just fine, and it is set in the glorious countryside. Quiet and gentle, very little happens but because of that, it is the most wonderful way to detox. I also love city breaks––whizzing around Barcelona, New York, and Paris eating, shopping, and getting my cultural fix. As much a retreat from reality as it is to boost my creativity.

My top five favourite hotels…

My most favourite hotels in the world are Samode Haveli and Narain Niwas Palace, in Jaipur; Devigarh, near Udaipur; The Babylonstoren in South Africa, and Cliveden in Berkshire. They top my list because I have had wonderful experiences in all of them and shared them with my most favourite people.

 

Lucille Lewin is a South African born British sculptor working in porcelain, glass and metal. Lewin has shown at Christie’s (2017) and Messums Wiltshire (2017) and is the current winner of the Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize (2017). Her work is held in private collections, and was represented by the Cynthia Corbett Gallery at Collect 2018.

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© This article was first published in June-July 2018 edition of World Travel Magazine.

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