Fragments: A Sneak Peek with Lee Kay-Barry



'Fragments' is the next show to grace the walls of the Norman Rea Gallery. It will preview on Monday 13th with poetry recordings, wine and art for sale. In this interview, we hope to gain a little more insight into the work of one of the featured artists, Lee Kay-Barry.

A London-based painter, Lee Kay-Barry has recently graduated in Fine Art at the University of Leeds. He attempts manipulate his painted subjects in order to create a sense of continuous motion, drawing attention to the fragments of time he has captured within an endless time continuum. The biomorphic, distorted human figures emerge as fluid, fragmented compositions of colour and expressive curved forms.

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So Lee, do you think it’s important to experiment artistically outside of your comfort zone? I think for anyone in or outside of art it is important to test yourself and try to push boundaries. Some of my work can start off in a totally opposite way to the end result. For me, I like to have visual cues and indicators. I photograph anything that I think might have the potential to be manipulated into a composition or pose for one of my figures.

Where is your favourite place to make art? I think I’m happy to work anywhere with open space and good natural lighting. I have worked in shared spaces and worked alone and I think both are beneficial in their own way. In one respect it’s great to have someone who you can bounce ideas off and even bounce off each other’s work and share opinions be it in agreement or disagreement. But I think I focus better when working in my own space.

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I can see a number of influences in your work. Who is your favourite artist and why? Two of my biggest inspirations are Willem de Kooning and Francis Bacon. They both use colour in a unique way. De Kooning has a more explosive palette and gestures more energetically all over in his paintings leading to a full composition, whereas Bacon is more selective in what he draws your attention to, isolating figures in often geometric backgrounds. I am fascinated by the way they manipulate form and figure and lead the human condition into an abstract expressionist realm in which there are no boundaries or limits to representation.

Sometimes people find it difficult to recognise the purpose of art within contemporary society. What do you think your role is as an artist today?  I think in a society oversaturated with visual media it is hard to stand out and make an impression. But it is possible. Take inspiration from whatever you respond to, pull colour palettes from other successful compositions but make it your own. Stand out by doing what no one else can do - be you.


https://www.leekay-barry.com/

Instagram: leekaybarry_art

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