4me4you visits Edel Assanti Gallery which featured the artist: Dale Lewis - "The Great Day".
The Great Day is Lewis’ largest work to date – measuring 36 metres in length. The work wrapped around the full perimeter of the gallery.
The painting borrows its title from one of the first films that Alfred Hitchcock worked on in 1920. Whilst the title conjures a narrative as spectacular as the scale of the painting itself, the events it depicts embody the banality, melancholy and intensity of everyday inner-city London life.
Whilst compositionally Lewis’ work is often informed by compositional structures from Renaissance paintings, in its grotesque yet tender depictions of urban society’s underbelly, The Great Day partakes in a British tradition of social realism. The timeless scenes of the painting permit defining conversations of our era to seep through their cracks, traversing themes of national identity, multiculturalism, 9-5 jobs, mental health, religion, class and wealth divides. In Lewis’ hands, the ordinary is rendered extraordinary through humorous and grotesque cameos: mice share a diner’s fried eggs whilst a baby casually puffs on a cigarette under a chair; the barber scissors off a punter’s tongue; decapitated heads bounce around the wheels of spinning washing machines.
In Lewis’ words, the outcome of “having sex, drugs and alcohol on tap – never treading on a piece of grass, an endless waking nightmare of sirens and screams.”