Wednesday 8 March – Wednesday 5 April 2017
Monday – Friday 1pm – 5pm and Saturdays 10am – 6pm
Opening Night Wednesday 8 March 5pm – 7pm
Catering kindly provided by NORSE
Alice Lee: II
Following on from her first solo show III, at Flint last year, II is another exhibition of print work by Alice Lee. Her technical drawings, predominantly of birds and a bit of typography, have evolved into a collection of printed paraphernalia using screen print, digital and riso processes.
A selection of work from this show will be for sale, raising money for a new charity littlelifts which aims to provide support and comfort to women facing chemotherapy treatment for primary breast cancer.
Alice is an artist and curator based in Norwich, who develops a variety of independent, nationwide projects under the name of Parallel Point. In 2015, she was short-listed in both The Visual Art and EDP People’s Choice categories for the Norfolk Art Awards.
Hi Alice, can you give us a brief intro to who you are and what you do?
Hello! At the moment I’m an artist mainly illustrating birds in a geometric-style, using circular shapes and monochrome textures. I also dabble in a bit of typography and curating.
When did your first real passion for illustrating start and what kind of art influenced your early work?
I was obsessed with Garfield when I was younger and wanted to be a cartoonist so I guess that kick-started the passion. I was also always encouraged to draw by family, friends and teachers. My work was quite different in the beginning, still technical drawing and painting but more traditional and not with any distinctive style. The way I work now, with the circles and textures, I developed fairly recently (only about 4 or 5 years ago) and has much more character. I try not to allow much other art to influence me but of course the artists I like have probably had an impact in some way! For example, I’ve always loved artists like Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Agnes Martin, although I wouldn’t say any of them are particularly obvious in what I do, more in terms of their philosophies and outlook.
Where and what did you study?
I did both my BA in Graphic Design/Animation and MA in Curation at Norwich University of the Arts.
How did your studies influence your style?
Well I reckon the Animation helped me to become more patient, especially with repetitive drawing and editing line work, whereas the Curation has definitely influenced the way I think about displaying my work.
Birds are a running theme through your work, what is it about the image of the bird that catches your imagination?
The sheer scale of birds as a subject matter is what gets my imagination going wild. There are so many different types of birds, shapes to study etc. Contrary to what people might assume, I’m not a crazy bird lover! I grew up in a grey, built-up London suburb and the only birds you see there are pigeons, crows and magpies so I really enjoy exploring the bird image as I was never exposed to many until I moved to Norfolk. There is so much to learn about even if it’s just starting with how they look!
Do you listen to music while you’re working? If so, what?
Actually I work with the TV on if I’m at home as I find the sound and light really meditative. I get too distracted by music because if I’ve chosen to listen to something it will be something I like and then it’s too difficult to concentrate fully on anything else. The only music I’ve been able to listen to whilst making work is the soundtrack to a musical and that was back when I was doing my art GCSE!
What are you doing when you’re not creating?
Mostly hanging out with my cat and working in my day job to fund my creating habits…
What is your greatest achievement?
So far, my greatest achievement is getting to a point where I feel like I can exhibit my work. It’s such a nerve-wracking thing to do but it’s hard to develop your practice without putting it out to the public. Much of the work in this exhibition has been made by taking onboard feedback from my show at Flint last year which has been so valuable. I don’t have an extrovert personality so for me any public output is totally petrifying! So exhibiting is a massive achievement especially when it’s a solo venture.
What’s the local illustrating / art scene like and do you have any local recommendations?
I think the local scene in the city is brilliant, the parts I’m aware of anyway. What you are doing here at the Arts Centre, opening the lobby space up to local artists and illustrators, is an amazing way to showcase them, particularly as the organisation is well-loved and has a great profile. There are a few shows coming up that I’m really looking forward to seeing here like Joel Benjamin and Dean Khalil’s portrait show and Ruth Knapp, whose work is always evolving. Henry Boon is also exhibiting this month at 42 King Street which I would recommend. I’ve worked with all these guys whilst curating the art space at The Birdcage and they are total professionals!
Lastly what are your tips or inspiring words for other illustrators / artists out there?
Have patience and keep practicing.
Catch Alice Lee’s exhibition II at Norwich Arts Centre until Wednesday 5 April 2017
Open Monday – Friday 1pm – 5pm and Saturdays 10am – 6pm