Glenn Lewis, visual artist and 2017 Canada Council laureate – a film by Eva Madden

– We’ve got matching hats on, see! – You’ve got to
tell me your name. – Oh, Glenn. – Glenn, what’s your last name?
– Lewis. I’ve got stuff in a show
in there right now, opening tomorrow. I want to return craft and art
together again. I don’t think there should
be that division there. These are far out. – So the comment
was even though you’re 80, you’re re-inventing yourself. [laughter] I wonder how. When you’re putting
something together, say a photograph and a pot… I mean this
isn’t a logical thing. But when I’m thinking
about an artwork, it’s a different kind
of process, and I think it’s maybe kind of
like a poetic process. When you think about it, what
are the inspirations for poetry, or…? It is actual life. It’s something that you would
notice in your everyday world. You’re walking down the street,
and you notice something and, in the old days, they would say
it triggers your muse, right? The muse settles over you
and you have this inspiration about something, so it arrives
through the everyday. It always has done I think. I’m very curious about things. I’m curious when I’m outside. I take great pleasure
when I’m walking along and I notice the things
on the sidewalk, or in windows and other people’s
hairdos and things. I sometimes forget
where I’m going. [laughter] It occupies my mind
quite a bit, I guess that way. I think the value of art
in many ways is about the perception
of things around you. And to be able to appreciate
your everyday life. Here we go. There is a certain treasure
in a mundane thing, I mean if you regard it long
enough and think about it, you can make it into something or you see it as something
more extraordinary. Beautiful carving
in these things. I think the journey
in the garden represents
our journey through life. I mean it interests me
to understand the world, and to understand
people better, in that sense. Finding your way through, right? How to get to
the end of your life? I’m not that introspective
sometimes about the work. I’ll have to take a picture
of you guys over there I think or something. [laughter] I’ll produce it and often I’ll
forget about it afterwards, too. You know,
I’m on to the next thing.

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