Cari Lewis

Cari Lewis BA (Hons) Fine Art 2020

Cari Lewis’ practise is a critical response to western society’s impact on the childhoods of identical twins and the treatment of twins in general. She focuses on highlighting how young girls are treated within a patriarchal society being expected to act within the constraints of the stereotypes given to them. Her practise explores and centres around identity, hauntology, stereotypes, vulnerability and the bond of identical twins through the medium of moving image. 

Lewis’ practise is powered by personal experiences of being categorised and stereotyped paired with emotions of frustration and resentment towards life as an identical twin. In recognition of this, she is also unable to ignore the unique connection she shares with her identical twin. 

Her practise acknowledges the ‘labels’ her identical twin and herself have been given from a young age and explores how these ‘labels’ have impacted their sense of identity. Lewis highlights effects on mental health and other sociological aspects involving the self-fulfilling prophecy, being a prediction that causes itself to be true due to the behaviour of the believer and the Pygmalion effect whereby the expectation of others of a certain individual affects that individual's performance. She also contemplates the effect parents have on their children’s identities and how they themselves may reinstate the ‘labels’. 

Lewis’ current work consists of two separate videos, one video representing each individual, reiterating that identical twins are not to be considered as the ‘same’ or of sharing an identity. She uses a combination of various moving image sources such as home videos, re-enactment and documentation along with text, sound and correlating images of their childhood to convey the key aspects in her work. Lewis aims to use the device of re-enactment to evoke a sense of vulnerability within the work. 

'Elen's labels'(2020) 21.0 x 29.7cm print ink on paper
'Cari's labels'(2020) 21.0 x 29.7cm print ink on paper
‘Untitled’ (2020) 2 x 420 x 594 mm print ink on paper
‘Untitled’ (2020) 2 x 420 x 594 mm print ink on paper
‘Untitled’ (2020) 2 x 420 x 594 mm print ink on paper
Exhibition idea for ‘Labels’
Elen's re-enactment
Reenactment video