"God Created Me in His Own Image"
Richard Lewer, artist statement, 2014
This work continues my interests in extreme behaviour, subcultures and the human condition, and specifically considers people or events of faith, healing, mysticism and tradition teachings in one form or another.
Last year because of a myriad of health concerns I moved to Fremantle, WA to take some time out from normal life and work on getting well. During this time, I saw a procession of western health practitioners and specialists and at the same time was also making a body of work based around the Tarot Card. After having my Tarot read, and because at the time I was quite obsessed by my own mortality, I was open to meeting anyone that could offer me relief from illness. I met up with, listened and painted the portraits of some of these people based in my local community or further afield, ordinary people, who just happen to live, work and believe in the alternate or otherworldly, who've had extraordinary things happen to them or have powers of healing or insight. The experiences and stories I heard on this journey were often unexplainable and were sometimes strange eg. Father Barry May is the only priest in Australia with permission to carry out exorcisms and he's flat out, Frank Ansell is a Nungkare (an Aboriginal Healer) in Alice Springs has terminally ill people visiting him in the extremes of the outback from all around the world, a weeping Madonna statue sitting in a suburban house in Rockingham has authentication as a miracle by the Catholic Church.
The text works are painted on foam inserts for domestic cushions. The holes in the foam were obsessively drilled and link back to previous work. These works will change over time with exposure to UV light.