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Communication Device. Iwan Lewis, 2014 Communication Device. Iwan Lewis, 2014

At Iwan Lewis' exhibition at the Ucheldre Centre, Holyhead, James Harper finds that an obsession with failure and glitches can produce the opposite when it comes to this painter's work.

Ucheldre is very good at showcasing some of the best talent available in North Wales. But as a space they are limited. It's difficult to get away from shit office vibes when suspended ceiling tiles loom depressingly above you.

However, when faced with the work of an award-winning painter such as Iwan Lewis, you can forget all that crap.

Kryptonians (detail), Iwan Lewis, 2014 Kryptonians (detail), Iwan Lewis, 2014

Fittingly, I'm visiting Lewis' solo exhibition, Indian Summer, on a warm October morning. And the tropicality traverses Ucheldre's forgettable ceiling.

The 13 works on display ooze the sort of charisma that is required to lift an exhibition space above the sum of its parts and out into the Autumn sunshine.

Kryptonians, Iwan Lewis 2014 Kryptonians, Iwan Lewis 2014

The artist references Henri Rousseau and an obsession with failure in his exhibition text, yet the there are no failings evident within works that include media such as mango leaves and a reclaimed satellite dish.

Lewis describes failure as 'a glitch or irregularity'. While comparing this to the occurrence of an Indian summer, it seems that as Indian summer's become increasingly more common so too will offerings of Iwan Lewis' work.

Rousseau's Coconut, Iwan Lewis 2014 Rousseau's Coconut, Iwan Lewis 2014

Henri Rousseau was regarded as a self-taught, naive painter who was confident in his own abilities. There is a primitive style at play within some of Lewis' paintings. However, from a triptych of Mango Leaves (painted) to 'Rousseau's Coconut' (plasticine) there is an air of confidence in Lewis' practice. Nothing's seems out of place or incongruent.

Community Biotopes I, Iwan Lewis 2014 Community Biotopes I, Iwan Lewis 2014

If there were to be any criticism of the exhibition it would be that it lacks experimentation around methods of display, though this is me delving deep for a criticism that is unwarranted.



Indian Summer was at The Ucheldre Centre, Holyhead from 13 Sept to 12 Oct 2014www.ucheldre.org