Glenn Lewis, visual artist and 2017 Canada Council laureate – a film by Eva Madden

Glenn Lewis is a 2017 winner of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts. Directed by Eva Madden Presentation of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Independent Media Arts Alliance The Canada Council for the Arts is a federal, arm’s-length Crown corporation created by an Act of Parliament in 1957 (Canada Council for the Arts Act) “to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts.” For more information, visit:

**** Transcript:

We’ve got matching hats on, see!

You’ve got to tell me your name.

Oh, Glenn.

Glenn, what’s your last name?


I’ve got stuff in a show in there right now, opening tomorrow.

I want to return craft and art together again. I don’t think there should be that division there.

These are far out.

So the comment was even though you’re 80, you’re re-inventing yourself.

I wonder how.

When you’re putting something together, say a photograph and a pot… I mean this isn’t a logical thing. But when I’m thinking about an artwork, it’s a different kind of process, and I think it’s maybe kind of like a poetic process.

When you think about it, what are the inspirations for poetry, or …?

It is actual life. It’s something that you would notice in your everyday world. You’re walking down the street, and you notice something and, in the old days, they would say it triggers your muse, right?

The muse settles over you and you have this inspiration about something, so it arrives through the everyday. It always has done I think.

I’m very curious about things. I’m curious when I’m outside. I take great pleasure when I’m walking along and I notice the things on the sidewalk, or in windows and other people’s hairdos and things.

I sometimes forget where I’m going.

It occupies my mind quite a bit, I guess that way.

I think the value of art in many ways is about the perception of things around you. And to be able to appreciate your everyday life. Here we go.

There is a certain treasure in a mundane thing, I mean if you regard it long enough and think about it, you can make it into something or you see it as something more extraordinary.

Beautiful carving in these things.

I think the journey in the garden represents our journey through life. I mean it interests me to understand the world, and to understand people better, in that sense.

Finding your way through, right? How to get to the end of your life?

I’m not that introspective sometimes about the work.

I’ll have to take a picture of you guys over there I think or something.

I’ll produce it and often I’ll forget about it afterwards, too. You know, I’m on to the next thing.

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