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'Dark Skies, Wild Seas, Ancient Places'.
Mayes Creative - Cot Valley Group Artist Residency.

14th - 18th January, 2024.


Taking place within the scenic Cot Valley a few minutes outside of St Just on the UK's most westerly peninsula, the Mayes Creative 'Dark Skies, Wild Seas, Ancient Places' Artist residency invited like-minded artists to spend the week inspired by the landscape with an arts-science-heritage approach. Activities undertaken by the artists involved included walks among heritage sites dating back to the bronze age, analysing the night sky and sharing ideas and methodologies through group workshops.

Lewis was one of the artists invited to take part in the residency. Inspired by previous visits and his surroundings, his works from the residency aimed to capture the aura of the landscape, the heritage associated with the ancient sites visited and the present moment of the location in cosmic time with the night sky. Alongside this were further investigations into his previous endeavours when dealing with emotions and moments that could stimulate notions of the sublime.


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Cot Valley Sunset I
Mayes Creative Group

Residency Artworks:

Ghosts of the Night Sky - Cot Valley Editions

Cot Valley, Cornwall, UK  14/01/2024  I - VIII

Almost all of the lights in the night sky are ghosts. The further you look into the cosmos, the further you look back in time. The closest star to our sun is 4.2 light years away. Meaning that the light coming from Alpha Centauri is 4.2 years old. Some of the stars you see at this present time in the night sky have probably already died thousands, millions or billions of years ago. However, the echoes of their existence in the form of their ancient light still arrive today on our doorstep. Even our Moon is no exception. It takes light 1.5 seconds to arrive at earth after being reflected by the moon's surface. Meaning the moon is 1.5 seconds old. Do you believe in ghosts? look at the night sky.

Dancers of a Circle from the Past.

The name of this series of photographic works is based upon two aspects of the Tregeseal East Stone Circle. The stone circle, comprising 19 granite standing stones, also goes by the name of 'The Dancing Stones' or in the Cornish Language "Meyn an Dons" meaning "Stones of the Dance". Tregeseal dates back to either the Neolithic or early Bronze Age although an exact date is not known. Similarly, not a lot is known of the occupants who built the stone circle apart from being of a megalithic culture. The stones themselves are made of granite with quartz embedded within. Tregeseal is the only surviving stone circle out of three within the area that once stood along the east-west axis in the shadow of Carn Kenidjack to the north. The Stone Circle also aligns roughly with two barrows in the immediate area to the Northeast and the Isles of Scilly off the coast to the Southwest.

With so much still unknown about the circle, this series endeavours to highlight them as remnants of a time when they were a possible site of immense ritual which also remains a mystery. Light from our sun can dominate the landscape surrounding the circle when allowed to shine through the cloudy skies. The stones bask in the light when our sun shines through the clouds casting shadows which over the course of the day dance over the ground. A process which has been ongoing since they were first erected by unknown people for an unknown reason thousands of years ago.

Dancer I - IX.
Dancer X
Dancers I
Dancer XI
Dancers II
Dancer XII
Dancers III
Dancer XIII
Dancers IV
Dancer XIV
Dancers V

Oceanic Sublime  - Cot Valley & Cape Cornwall Editions

Inspired by theories of the sublime written by Edmund Burke, the oceanic sublime series aims to document the moments when nature displays great power and dominance. Giant waves, vast sea storms, and chaotic breaks can all lead to emotions similar to those of the sublime.

“The passion caused by the great and the sublime in nature, when those causes operate most powerfully, is Astonishment; and astonishment is that state of the soul, in which all its motions are suspended, with some degree of horror”

 

Edmund Burke, ‘A Philosophical Enquiry…’, 1757.