Artist’s Inspiration: Kris Lewis
We invited local artists to respond to the theme Fresh as part of our Wall of Art series, a quarterly juried art show produced in partnership with Guelph Arts Council. The submissions received were incredibly varied, as each artist brought a truly unique perspective to the theme. For this blog series, we asked the artists to share their inspiration and the story that their piece tells.
Kris Lewis is an emerging artist who has worked and lived in southwestern Ontario most of her life. Social landscapes and portraiture intrigue her most of all. She cherishes moments that she is able to capture pure, harmonious and discordant elements in a simple photograph. Her formal academic training is not in the arts. However, in her family of origin you can find many artists, artisans, writers and inventors. Her belief has always been that human life is inseparable from creativity. It was instilled early in life that creativity and intuition are intimately connected. The many peers in her network have been important role models and mentors, further unlocking her inherent creative force and allowing her art to create her stories.
For Lewis, being an artist was, is and continues to be a lifelong practice. There is no end point. The creative process is a journey, of connecting with one’s inner self and what is true in that moment, a search of authenticity, and self-expression. It is a way to tell a story, surrendering, for the pure purpose of creating. Thus truths are revealed and life continues to be transformed.
The story behind ‘First Boil’
When that small window opens between winter and spring Lewis is reminded of yet another important Canadian harvest. The snow is beginning to melt and the sap begins to flow. The maple bush is full of activity. The nights are cold and the daytime brings warm sun and a signal that there is much work to do.
The colourless liquid is gathered and poured into large evaporator pans. These giant vats are rigged beneath large chimneys that draft wood smoke away from carefully tended fires.
It is in the sugar shack that she can hear and see the soft roll of the boil, the fire crackles and hot crimson coals oscillating in colour. The shack is warm and humid and smells sweetly familiar. Her mind drifts to all the times family and friends will gather to enjoy this golden syrup over the year to come.
Another fresh spring Canadian tradition.