ARTIST STATEMENT

An investigation into the Unknown and the emotions this precarious state brings into being.

My sculpture explores the external and internal, both physically and metaphorically.
Openings, the junction between space occupied and contained, are reminiscent of mouths, entrances to narrow passageways or cavernous unknown interiors. These both invite and threaten simultaneously.

Upping Sticks: to pick up one’s possessions and move to another place.

These objects, whose beginnings at first referenced the humble stick, have become much more than the expression of the movement of people, the plight of refugees. Although ideas of journeys, of stepping into the unknown are still central to my work, these forms also address our personal fears when faced with their strange, uncanny presence.

Using metaphors of familiar objects in abstract form, sticks, bundles, sacks, these pieces articulate the fragile and vulnerable state of displacement and dis-belonging. Of being confronted by the Unknown.

The viewer is asked to explore, contemplate, and question.

Working in series
process and materiality
marks of making left in evidence
making intuitively with materials
responding to that which comes into being
embracing the unexpected, allowing a flow of unconsciousness
a means to understand myself
and the world about me
My practice

This work embodies mystery, it is profoundly abstract, difficult to grasp and define, but it is rooted in clearly delineated thinking. There is a tension between the clarity of the thinking and expression against the opacity and elusiveness of the subject matter – it is knowingly about the unknown. The work is also about itself and its materiality. We can see (and feel) the making and the act of enquiry through action. The boundary edge is clearly defined but, in the bumps and undulations of the form we can see the negotiation between the interior and exterior being played out. It uses the language of the vessel and the container – hollowness and a definition of space – but eludes being labelled or limited by this in its mysterious abstraction..

– Nicholas Lees.

‘Re:MAstered’ @ Crafts Study Centre, Farnham. June – September 2018 

‘New Growth’ @ Heathland Artworks, Tilford. June – October 2018

MA Graduate Online Exhibition 2020. University for the Creative Arts, Farnham