“Look Daddy… I’m Just Like You”

Artist: Emily Lewis

Medium: Acrylic on paper

Description: This artwork explores the contradictory process of growing up, examining the simultaneous inhabitance of innocence, and the preparation for adulthood. A whimsical style similar to that of a children’s book is expressed stylistically and through fantasy-like images, however they have been slightly tinged with a darker undertone. The animals of sheep, rabbits, dogs, sparrows and lemmings are known to follow blindly, with the exception of the elephant, who despite this remains blindfolded. The conflict is most blatantly expressed through the newspaper and TV preaching ‘let kids be kids’, which is contrasted by the generational progression of the working man’s destiny, symbolised through the cliché noose around their necks.

a surreal living room scene with four beings dressed in formal attire with animal heads. Two adults and two children. The large male dressed in a suit has a sheep’s head, a woman sitting in a chair wearing a dress has a lemmings head. A small boy wearing a suit has a dog's head, and a small girl, sitting on the floor in a dress, has a rabbit’s head. They are situated around the living room with the television on. A large portrait sits on the wall behind the figures, showing an elephant and a sparrow, wearing a suit and dress respectively, both wearing blindfolds. The image on the television shows a bull's face, with the caption ‘let kids be kids’. A newspaper lies on the coffee table with the same headline.

Prim and Proper

Artist: Emily Lewis

Medium: Acrylic on paper

Description: This artwork subverts the traditional social dichotomy of parents as infallible and children as imperfect. The same family as presented in the prior artwork (with a few minor tweaks) sits together at a typical dinner, however whilst the children wait to be served, their parents enjoy other delights. The artwork is symmetrically balanced within the space to induce a visual sense of normalcy and comfort, a feature accentuated by the repetitive, flowing wallpaper. It is only when one looks deeper at the image, is the displeasure announced. Every child has a moment in their life where they realise just how “human” their parents are- this is that moment. 
a surreal dining room scene with four beings dressed in formal attire with animal heads. Two adults and two children. Similarly to the previous work, the figure shows a sheep, lemming, rabbit and dog. They are seated around a long table. The table has three wine bottles open and a covered clothe. The sheep and lemming (mother and father) drink the wine and smoke whilst the children (rabbit and dog) sit still behind their empty plates. There are bugs crawling on the floor.

Is this deep enough for you?

Artist: Emily Lewis

Medium: Acrylic on paper

Description: Our viewers are taken to the conclusion of the family’s night, with the group standing around the kitchen, washing dishes. This artwork unpacks what truly constitutes the “perfect family”. The previously depicted faults of this family is considered beside their “progressive” existence, which is demonstrated in the highly performative books, fridge magnets, and the patriarch washing the dishes. The daughter is left outside to play, whilst the son stays inside to help clean, only resulting in the daughter being excluded. When considering this family, and my artworks within the complex realm of social acceptance and activism, everything is deceptive. So I ask you, the viewer, is this deep enough for you?

a surreal kitchen scene with four beings dressed in formal attire with animal heads. They depict the same animals as the previous artworks; sheep, lemming, rabbit and dog. The rabbit, dressed in a pink dress, can be seen through a window outside, standing beside a cricket bat and stumps. The remaining 3 figures stand around the kitchen, the sheep is washing dishes whilst the dog helps. A pile of books sits atop the fridge, showing titles such as ‘I’m an Ally’ and ‘I cured racism’. Multiple magnets sit on the fridge, displaying words such as ‘Proud Feminist’, ‘Queer and Here’ and ‘Vegan’.

 

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nations as the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live, work, and learn. We pay our respects to the Elders past, present, and emerging. Sovereignty was never ceded. This always was and always will be, Aboriginal land.