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about « Lee Roberts

About the Artist – Lee Grant Roberts

Early Years

Lee was born in Woking, England into a family of fashion retailers and bespoke tailors. Lee avidly pursued ornithology, drawing and painting from an early age, anxious to connect and express his innate understanding of nature. Preferring the Arts to the academic, Lee applied for arts school at 15, was accepted, and left home. Receiving a distinction for a Higher National Diploma course, Lee then continued on a three year course in multi-disciplinary art and design and left with a First Class Honours Degree (BA1st).

Lee began his graphic arts career as a designer in London’s fifth largest design agency and, after only one year, received an unsolicited British Civic Award for environmental design. This work included a series of several large scale sculptural works depicting the history of the Town of Kettering (cost: $ 240,000). While promoted to senior designer at the agency, Lee decided instead to come to Vancouver, Canada, accepting a job offer as creative director of Graheme Koo, a graphics design company.

It was here that he also met the love of his life.

Eventually, the job began to over-restrict Lee’s art pursuits and creativity and he therefore left the firm and headed to Paris, having received an invitation to participate in a group-themed sculpture show called “Les Secrets Cartesian”. He then returned to Vancouver and set up a boutique design firm in Gastown. The timing was excellent and the creative work engaging, while also providing Lee a roof and the freedom to continue his art and study without any commercial expectations.

Fine Arts Focus

In 2007, Lee set out to commit more fully to the fine arts and started sharing a number of group shows mostly with Vancouver and Sunshine Coast artist friends, including Jay Senetchko, Sean Hunt, Tanmaya Bingham, and Mike Watt.

Lee’s sculpture, paintings and drawings mostly depict animals and the environment. Materials used are typically industrial or biological waste that include, Bicycle inner tubes, Conveyor belting, Floor boards, Rebar tie wire, Skulls, Fur etc. These materials are general acquired at low or no cost and diverted before they become landfill or bio-waste. This route, while prudent, is also a fitting reflection to the industrialization of habitats addressed in many of his pieces.

Most of Lee’s work is a contemporary, clean, minimalist expression with subtle layers of discovery. Each piece seems simplistic but is the result of disciplined enquiry and of considerable meaning to the artist as well as the curious observer.

Lee has now shown in over twenty-five group shows, several two man shows and one solo shows. He sells most of what he produces. Lee is not represented by galleries, choosing the freedom to produce what matters to him, and to exhibit mostly from his studio (which he shares with Artist partner, Bon Roberts) and in select small venues. Lee’s work is in many private collections in Canada, USA and Europe.

It’s a busy 2017 for Lee who is currently working on two Sculptural installations in metal for private residences, ongoing Wire-work sculpture commissions, and a new series of paintings for the East Side Arts Crawl Show in the fall, 2017.

Currently available works are priced between $1,000 and $30,000

Lee is continuing to study birds, working with the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife Rescue centre, and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, which continually feeds the creative expression.