Simon Lewis Wards
As a youth, Simon was a keen graffiti artist. He liked the close-knit fraternity and the sense of being part of an underground movement. But when graffiti became trendy, it lost its fascination. Simon then began working as an assistant at a glass-blowing studio in Australia. It was in this role that the he developed a skill set in both blown glass techniques and the ‘lost wax’ method. Simon decided to set up his own small studio in New Zealand in partnership with close friends, in this context he could really explore the possibilities of the lost wax technique.
Simon found his personal style in the intersection between glass techniques and street art imagery that is bold, simple and quintessentially New Zealand. Much of his early work developed an urban aesthetic with references to construction, street signs and cityscapes.
Simon has now cemented his artistic practice in the New Zealand glass scene. His work still embraces the cast glass technique but increasingly includes sculptural additions that help develop a narrative around the work. Most well-known are his porcelain bags which sit beside glass lollies, reminiscent of the lolly mixtures you found in the local dairy as a child.