Lee John Phillips

Lee John Phillips

I first met Lee on one of my frequent trips to Narberth; a town that for me has a very creative energy. The town has a buzz, a dynamism; the shop keepers’ make an effort to dress their shop windows and there’s always an exhibition in the Oriel Queen’s Hall Gallery with a craft market. There’s a particular antiques/vintage emporium at the bottom of town that’s always worth a visit and a rummage in their eclectic range of products. This cosy little store has my vote as they actively promote new artists and publicise events.

Lee had an exhibition at the Oriel Queen’s Hall Gallery that I visited in July 2015 entitled The Shed Project which is a very long-term project to record every single item in his Grandfather’s shed; an eclectic mix of tools, fixings and come-in-useful bits and pieces. Lee’s task is to record, with his pen, every single item, this means that if a jam jar has a 100 nails, then Lee will draw 100 nails, it means that he will draw every single electrical fuse and each nut, bolt and washer. I cannot begin to appreciate his determination and commitment to his task to celebrate his Grandfather.

Lee’s work was displayed on a table and back-board; the range of tools and equipment from his Grandfather’s shed was organised on the table and this was reflected in his drawings. On entering the gallery, I was immediately impressed with Lee’s skill in interpreting the immense task ahead of him and his precision of presentation; every fixing, tool and ‘thingy’ was easily recognised from my own modest shed-collection and my “it’s in there somewhere” box.

Lee was very engaging and passionate about his project and was eager to talk about The Shed Project and his current illustrating commissions.

I was very impressed with Lee, his project and his work and discussed with him the possibility of participating in the quest-speaker programme at my University; Coleg Sir Gar in Carmarthen and I made my recommendation to my tutor. It gave me great pleasure to meet Lee again recently at Coleg Sir Gar preparing to present The Shed Project to my fellow students.

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