Nicholas Lees’ work explores perception and interaction. In his own words, he is “fascinated by the transient and ephemeral nature of physical presence and how interactions between light, space, body and time condition our perception.”
The artist works with Parian, a porcelain clay developed in Stoke-on-Trent in the 19th Century. At first glance his vessels appear perfect, as if machine-made; in fact, every work begins its life as clay on the wheel. Vessels are thrown and lathe-turned to perfection by hand, a painstaking process that requires great patience and skill. During this stage the signs of the hand-made almost vanish, and only the careful observer will note that they are still there, albeit subtle. The resulting work is calm, disciplined and displays a strong architectural quality.
Following an English and History degree at the University of Kent, Lees studied Ceramics at the University of the West of England (BA) and the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (MA). In 2012, he completed an MPhil by project at the Royal College of Art in London.
He has won several awards including the Cersaie Prize at the Premio Faenza (Italy) in 2015, the National Sculpture Award at the Bluecoat Display Centre in Liverpool in 2010, and the Desmond Preston Prize for Excellence in Drawing at the RCA in 2012.
Lees works as a visiting lecturer on post-graduate courses at the RCA, UCA Farnham and Bath Spa University. His work has been exhibited widely in the UK and overseas and is held in private and public collections including York City Art Gallery, the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, and Germany’s Westerwald Keramikmuseum, as well as the Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza.
He works from a studio in Selborne, Hampshire.