As a youth, Wards 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.
The artist then began working as an assistant at a glass-blowing studio in Australia. It was in this role that the artist developed a skill set in both blown glass techniques and the "lost wax" method. However, as an assistant the majority of Simon's time was spent producing bowls and vessels - objects that didn't spark any feeling for him. The artist became restless and 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.
The artist 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 city-scapes.
Simon has now cemented his artistic practice in the New Zealand glass scene. His recent works still embrace the cast glass technique but increasing include 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.
"I always heard people say that once you found your passion, it wasn't like going to work anymore. Now I know what that means."- Simon Lewis Wards
Simon Lewis Wards turns youthful memories into art in the form of luminescent cast-glass- the result is nostalgic, unique and fun.