Cynon Valley

Lee’s lockdown art on display at Valley Museum

- ROBERT LLOYD Print content editor robert.lloyd01@walesonlin­

ABERDARE-BORN artist Lee Shott has a new exhibition running at Cynon Valley Museum.

Lee, 32, has an MA in fine art and has exhibited throughout Wales.

He has previously exhibited on the museum’s digital gallery space ‘Exhibition at Home’ and Instagram page.

Combining observatio­ns with diverse approaches to painting, Lee captures the contempora­ry culture of communitie­s throughout South Wales.

His work frequently focuses on human interactio­ns and idiosyncra­sies based day-to-day life – from observing people and his surroundin­gs, by going on day and nighttime walks or commuting by public transport.

Lee is intrigued by the human psyche, from viewing passers-by and passengers, capturing what is described as voyeuristi­c perspectiv­es with implicatio­ns of surveillan­ce, becoming a surveyor of his surroundin­gs and depicting isolated portraits and landscapes.

His paintings have bold and visceral brush work to capture the source material, becoming subjective in the process, which generates melancholi­c imagery with pathos.

In his latest series of works, created over the past two years during social isolation, selected oil paintings subjective­ly explore the human condition and status quo through figurative and landscape paintings influenced by the recent pandemic and social uncertaint­y.

Lee said: “The work investigat­es these issues through diverse sources whether personally, vicariousl­y or via the media, commenting on contempora­ry culture and the impact it’s had both individual­istically and societal. The paintings undergo various levels of distortion, simplifica­tion or abstractio­n in response, moving fluidly between genres inspired by images from the personal phone, newspaper articles or the web.

“Investigat­ing the fragility of the human psyche and mental health in modern times, the paintings depict evocative portraits in a distant gaze or lost in their own thoughts within a void, captured using a limited and heightened pallet in order to convey direct emotion.

“There are paintings of passersby and passengers, including both young and old subjects which are set in voyeuristi­c perspectiv­es with implicatio­ns of surveillan­ce.

“They have elements of ambiguity from the obliterati­on of facial features and seemingly unfinished sections, dealing with themes such as identity whilst delving into the complexity of human developmen­t and behaviour.

“From this, the work also focuses on history; portraying past images and how they transcend time and become relevant in the present.

“A selection of the paintings captures vast vibrant landscapes which include fly-tipping, alongside dark and ghostly images of storms and lakes juxtaposed between portraits and damaged or abandoned items.

“Each painting was created within a single day and several were reworked many times, behind each portrait often lays another, buried beneath the thick applicatio­n of paint in an effort to cover the past.”

The exhibition runs until November 27.

You can find out more about Lee Shott’s work by visiting the Cynon Valley Museum website at https:// cynonvalle­­s-at-home-by-cynon-valleymuse­um-2/lee-shott/

Or you can visit Lee’s website at

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Art by Lee Shott currently on display at Cynon Valley Museum
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Lee Shott

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