Hannah Lees’ work investigates ideas of cycles, constancy and mortality; the sense that things come to an end and the potential for new beginnings.
This constancy, be it in religion, science, history or in organic matter, is visible in her practice through her attempts to make sense of and recognise traces of life.
Very often Lees’ work reflects on the role of food in forming histories and rituals.
Traditional processes, materials and rituals are often reworked to explore how ideas and beliefs can live, die and be reborn across times and cultures.
The work alternates between exploring circularity and linearity - sometimes tracking modulating self-sustaining systems, at other times following a process by which an object is permanently transformed.
Lees’ work is abstract, in the sense that it does not reproduce existing cultural conditions for the sake of critique or documentary.
Rather, she combines unexpected elements in order for connections to arise.
Her work is particularly concerned with activating the affective potential of organic objects.
Through appreciating this, her work is focused towards an understanding of the essential nature of the materials she uses as well as allowing space for shifts in context in order to disrupt interpretation and allow for new meaning.
Images and text courtesy the artist.
Caption 1: "Tablet LXXXIV" Plaster, iron powder, rust convertor, beachcombed objects (2023)
Caption 2: "Time for you and time for me" Hospital dividing screen, silk organza, cross-stitch fabric, various embroidery thread, yarn, ribbon, plastic. (2021)