The photographs and digital video that make up Field Work are inspired by the idea of the artist as a 'stranger' exploring what Lewis describes as an ‘unknown site' to gather first-hand information and carry out a form of ethnographic research. In connecting the practices of ethnography and photography, Lewis is concerned with representing and understanding the social networks through which a sense of belonging to a particular place is achieved. The project grew out of his time as a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths from 2009-2010 where he collaborated with Dr. Christopher Wright.
The sites that he has explored - the New Forest in Hampshire and Newtown and surrounding areas in mid-Wales - are linked through aspects of their respective rural locations, but also and through their ‘distance’ from Lewis’ hometown, south London. By analysing and contrasting these areas, interviewing residents, and documenting events such as local festivals and carnivals, Lewis attempts to evaluate ideas around belonging, identity and migration, all of which are viewed through his own eyes as a stranger and the model of an ‘impartial observer’.
Field Work was on show in the Kingsway Corridor, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths in January and February 2011and was a co-commission by Autograph ABP, Oriel Davies Gallery, and ArtSway.
More information about Field Work (PDF)