Art of the Imagination by Robert Lee ... welcome
You are visiting the website of Robert Lee, a contemporary artist based in Melbourne, Australia.
For most of the past 30 years or so Robert has been creating highly imaginative art using a wide variety of materials, both traditional (paint, paper, canvas, metal, clay) and not-so-traditional (feathers, hair, bones). Throughout his work, he draws inspiration from the forms, textures and patterns found in the natural world informing his characteristically painted and drawn ‘landscapes’ and as well as highly individual ceramic pieces and sculptural constructions.
Many of his two-dimensional works resemble terrain viewed from altitude, and, although apparently abstract, his visual designs are rooted in the organic world and nature's processes affecting earth, air, fire and water so familiar to us all. It is these processes (wind, rain, erosion, plants, stars) that seem to influence the patterning and linear organisation of his surfaces. Landscape and place are often present in both his 2-D works (e.g. Night, Midnight Fire, Farmland, Sea, Ancient Land, Between Two Seas) and his ceramic works (Landscape Vessel, Australian Landscape, Humanity Landscape).
Another important aspect of Robert’s work is exemplified in his sculptures, many of which he has crafted from his large collection of ‘found objects’ in almost all materials imaginable. Robert’s background in the sheet-metal trades has provided him with the required practical skills for the selection, shaping and use of many of his materials as well as in the conceptualisation and planning required to construct some of his more complicated pieces. As a consequence, everything looks well thought-out and engineered. Having said this, much of Robert’s ceramic and sculptural work feels it has been ‘discovered’ rather than created (e.g. Tungs, Relics, Creation and Destruction) confirming a ‘memory’ of some long-lost ritual or civilisation (e.g. Shrines, Oogada Boogada, Ritual, Ceremonial Vessels, Ceremonial Platter). Quite a few of his ceramic works are groupings of similar but varied forms thus forming ‘families’ (e.g. The Importance of Friends, Empty Vessels, Contemplation of Diversity and Unity, Tungs) perhaps suggesting the ‘personification’ of the otherwise lifeless clay forms.
Humour, blended with pathos, is another side of Robert’s muse (e.g his Manimals, No Man is an Island, Humanity Landscape) which you can explore in this website, along with some of the artist’s photographs, being both works in their own right, and also showing his inspirational links with the beautiful textures and patterns of everyday things. Over the years, Robert has exhibited his works in over 20 solo shows and participated in numerous group exhibitions as sampled on this website. Just click on the Gallery menu to explore these many facets of his evolving work.