London/ Leicester

Lewis Buttery

Job Title: 






"Lewis Buttery was born in 1995 and is an artist from Leicester, UK. He was a drop-out at 16 years old and was introduced to art a year and a half later by a local youth arts charity. Buttery started practicing as an artist that year, exhibiting and selling his work.

The following year he started running art workshops and curating in settings from prisons to museums, to council estates and youth clubs, but was self-taught until starting an Art & Design Foundation course in 2016. He did it part time, over two years, so that he could keep working while he was doing it. Then he moved to London in 2018, where he now lives and works, when he started a Fine Art degree at Central Saint Martins (University of the Arts London).

Buttery has struggled with his mental health on and off for much of his life, but comes from a working class background and his work is about these two things. Buttery's process is to spend a long time considering it, with one sculpture even taking a year of preparation. Then, the making part of the process is often done all in one session.

He made a decision in 2019 to start trying to make work that promotes positivity, which he did by putting words of affirmation in public window displays in Hackney and Kings Cross. The Kings Cross one was two giant phrases, "i am happy with who i am" and "i am living a great life", each in its own 13 metre wide window. The materials used to make it were sponsored by ColArt (Liquitex) and CassArt.

Lewis is interested in what his work is conveying without his intention, which he thinks comes from his perfectionist nature. Because of that, before anything else, he wants to be become confident in his communication. The first thing people notice about Buttery's work is a darkness, even when that's not what he's going for. He's intuitively drawn to using a literally dark colour pallete and to distorting figure or text through his use of materials. Buttery started making art as catharsis; as a release. He thinks that's where the darkness in his work comes from.

The artist's influences come from his background, the Expressionist movement and the YBAs."