Review – ‘The Best Of Both Worlds’ solo show, Otago University Critic magazine, 22 March 2004, by Hannah Pirie and Anna Pendergrast

show-criticreviewThe Best of Both Worlds is a selection of collages composed by Dunedin artist Peter Lewis.

Viewed from afar, the collages look like intricate drawings, but on closer inspection they are detailed collages compiled from an assortment of images. Lewis collects from a variety of sources including old magazines and textbooks. When looking at the collage it is interesting to pay attention to both the cutting and the composition of the works. Each of Lewis’ images is cut out with surgical precision down to the smallest detail.

The composition of the works differ between pieces, some having distinct themes such as a a piece called “0800 NOSTALGIA”. The background of this work is a tessellation of Dick Frizzel’s Four-Square Grocery logo, slightly obscured by images of stereotyped New Zealand icons such as sausage rolls, Marmite, and Judy Bailey.

In The Best of Both Worlds both colour and black and white collages are displayed with various degrees of intricacy. Subject matter ranges from busy yet bizarre cityscapes where cherubs and overgrown lizards roam, to dog-headed priests who sacrifice pies to benevolent gods. At times there is an air of Terry Gilliam’s Monty Python animation about the more surreal works. Finding new and fascinating images, along with reminiscing about the wonders of your childhood imagination, are what Lewis’ works are about. The collages invite you to return to peer at them again, and the careful viewer is sure to find something new, fascinating or amusing each time.