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19 May - 22 June

Exhibition at Rabley Gallery Wiltshire

Nicholas Lees - Ceramics
above: Porcelain vessels by Nicholas Lees

Fine porcelain vessels and drawings explore the uncertainty of the edge and shadow.

Nicholas Lees

'I interrogate the relationship between what is solid and material and what is numinous and ephemeral. The works explore the uncertainty that rests within boundaries and across thresholds. This uncertainty is key to my enquiry; how to realise the physical and spatial representation of the blurred and uncertain edge - the penumbra of material.  Within this body of work this edge can be seen and felt through cast shadows, within the certainty of materiality. The presence of the object on the surface is floating and shifting according to perception.

My materials for sculpture are porcelain, space and light - physical elements in the relationship between the object and the body of the viewer, which deal directly with perceptual phenomenon. What is seen and understood of solidity and materiality shifts according to relationships of object, space, light and the eye of the viewer.

The objects are made from parian porcelain, first thrown on the wheel as thick walled vessels and then turned on a lathe whilst leather hard. They are intensively hand crafted, involving risk and patience, but wear this subtly in their visual presence, seeming possibly to come as much from the machine as the hand.

My work on paper is a parallel activity to my three-dimensional work in ceramic. I explore the same issues of uncertain boundary, threshold, light, space and body. I use an interaction between precise control and uncertain ephemerality in both cases. Working on paper enables me to be more playful, and to have a faster iterative cycle between idea and outcome. The use of water is a parallel to the effect of movement of body and light in relation to the porcelain works. It is a representation of the visual aura of the sculpture.'

Nicholas Lees 2018
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Nicholas Lees studied Ceramics at the University of the West of England (BA) and University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (MA), having previously also studied English and History at the University of Kent (BA). In 2012 he completed an MPhil by project at the Royal College of Art in London, where he originated his current body of work.

His work has been exhibited widely in the UK and overseas and is held in private and public collections including York City Art Gallery, Westerwald Keramikmuseum in Germany, Royal Caribbean International and the Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza. He has won several awards including the Cersaie prize at the Faenza Biennale in Italy in 2015, the National Sculpture Award from the Bluecoat Display Centre in Liverpool in 2010 and the Desmond Preston Prize for Excellence in Drawing at the Royal College of Art in 2012. He has made a significant contribution to higher education in Ceramics the UK, as a Senior Lecturer at Bath Spa University between 2000 and 2010 and as a visiting lecturer on Postgraduate courses at Bath, The Royal College of Art and UCA Farnham since 2010. He lives and works in Hampshire, UK.

Exhibition Opening hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am – 4pm. On the final day of the show, Friday 22 June the gallery will be closing at 12noon.

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