GROWING TO LOVE

Ness Lee
Illustration, Ceramic, Painting
June 2016

Lee’s work explores the body, intimacy and self-love. Her full-bodied figures fill the canvas with simple lines and monochromatic or singular colour palettes. The bodies are often multiplied in a single image, contorted into the most agile of shapes, appearing nimble, strong and present. Her work quickly becomes recognizable.

The artist’s principal investigation is of the human form. She doesn’t seek to specify gender, but rather intimacy. Lee separates her physical body from her emotional reality. The figures and their multiples depict various states of her emotional self. Growing over a period of heartbreak and discomfort, the artist has intentionally begun to charge her characters with more sexual expression. Lee is searching for a place where she feels comfortable committing to things outside herself, hence the figures fill the canvas. The static shapes are an expression of her endurance through a period of growth.

Making ceramics is a sensory, tactile experience that allows Lee to work with the same subject in a different way. She believes that art should be an integrated part of life, making functional objects such as bowls and vessels, incense holders, pins and cut-outs. Working with ceramics is also a practice of tenderness and patience. Pieces often break as they are being made. She keeps them in hopes of giving them a second chance. By fixing them Lee preserves the sentiment they carry. In facing her fears of pursuing art, Lee has grown to accept what she deserves, especially when it comes to love.