Ever-Old Newness /|\ Ever-New Oldness

Hannah Lees

In Hannah Lees’ work Eternal XII (Issy Miyake) a purposely low-res clip from a scent commercial found on YouTube is looped, creating an unending sunrise or sunset. The work acknowledges the dilemma of how to communicate a scent via technology; as advertising contends with the inherent difficulties in promoting the olfactory the work becomes indicative of some of the broader themes within Lees’ practice – such as the point at which the fleeting and the eternal meet, as she investigates ideas of cycles, constancy and mortality. The sound installation, Zauber, also addresses this, in the form of an extracted, remixed element from the opera Die Zauberflöte. Rep- resenting a breakdown of transference, the original piece of music was played to the artist while in the womb. Years later it was replayed to her with an expectation of recognition, none was forthcoming.

Lees’ intrinsic use of her chosen materials incorporates ethnography and alchemy through her deployment of some of the fundamen- tal elements of life. Vegetable dye, one of her key materials and extracted from her daily use, becomes a fluid material in her hands, a vibrant matter as a transfer of energy occurs from one form into another. A Past and a Future (III and IV) becomes a depository for this transfer, as the felt surface of an oversized beanbag is flooded with bright dyes. The act of bleaching or staining is central to the two beanbag works, and is also seen in the drips of dye streaming down sections of the gallery wall (A light here required a shadow there II). There is a sense of things coming to an end and the potential for new beginnings. Lees has spoken of the sense of optimism and pathos in her practice, and these works bear testament to this.

A repurposing of materials is a common theme with the work, finding potential for the used and overlooked. This is witnessed in the Tablet series while the exhibition title, Ever Old Newness /|\ Ever New Oldness, also acknowledges a drawing on the past; the brass casts, These ruins were once a monument (Coldrum Stones and Kit’s Coty), are taken from foraged fruit and nuts found while walk- ing between two ancient Megalithic sites in Kent. Lees’ casting technique involves burning out the original nut shell and replacing the negative space with brass, thus preserving a certain moment, while allowing for ongoing changes within the work as the brass becomes shinier with every handling.

Hannah Lees b. 1983, Margate (UK). Lives and works in London. Recent Exhibitions & Projects include: Adventures in Clay, Bronze & Stone, Arezzo, IT (2015); m-Health, Cell Project Space, London, UK (2015); Hold, Sway, Generator Projects, Dundee, UK (2015); 4 REAL DEAR (curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini); Open Source, London, UK (2015); Bitches Brew Daughter of Bastard Son of Hot Sauce (curated by LAW OFFICE) NEWD Art Show, Brooklyn NY, US (2015); John, Sunday Painter, London, UK (2015). Forthcoming Exhibitions include: Hannah Lees, Cairn Gallery, Pittenweem, Scotland, UK (2015); Global Committee, Brooklyn, NY, US (2015); ArtSway, New Forest, Hampshire, UK (2016); Micro Residency, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (2016); I-X Context Sensitive, Dreaming of Streaming, ANDOR, London, UK (2015)

Installation view,

Installation view

Installation view,

Installation view

Hannah Lees, A light here required a shadow there II, 2015 Vegetable dyed wall (adzuki beans, black beans, black lentils, black rice, hibiscus/sorrel, onion skins, red cabbage)

Hannah Lees

A light here required a shadow there II, 2015
Vegetable dyed wall (adzuki beans, black beans, black lentils, black rice, hibiscus/sorrel, onion skins, red cabbage)

Installation view,

Installation view

Installation view,

Installation view

Installation view,

Installation view

Hannah Lees, These ruins were once a monument (Kit’s Coty), 2015 Leather, Brass-cast Hazelnut shells, Plum & Damson stones

Hannah Lees

These ruins were once a monument (Kit’s Coty), 2015
Leather, Brass-cast Hazelnut shells, Plum & Damson stones

Hannah Lees, These ruins were once a monument (Coldrum Stones), 2015 Leather, Brass-cast Hazelnut shells, Plum & Damson stones

Hannah Lees

These ruins were once a monument (Coldrum Stones), 2015
Leather, Brass-cast Hazelnut shells, Plum & Damson stones

Hannah Lees, Eternal XII (Issy Miyake), 2015 Projected Video loop

Hannah Lees

Eternal XII (Issy Miyake), 2015
Projected Video loop

Installation view,

Installation view

Installation view,

Installation view

Installation view,

Installation view

Installation view,

Installation view

Installation view,

Installation view

Hannah Lees, A Past and a Future III, 2015 Vegetable dyed felt, polystyrene beads 230 x 180 x 35 cm

Hannah Lees

A Past and a Future III, 2015
Vegetable dyed felt, polystyrene beads
230 x 180 x 35 cm

Hannah Lees, A Past and a Future III, 2015 Vegetable dyed felt, polystyrene beads 230 x 180 x 35 cm

Hannah Lees

A Past and a Future III, 2015
Vegetable dyed felt, polystyrene beads
230 x 180 x 35 cm

Hannah Lees, A Past and a Future IV, 2015 Vegetable dyed felt, polystyrene beads 480 x 150 x 35 cm

Hannah Lees

A Past and a Future IV, 2015
Vegetable dyed felt, polystyrene beads
480 x 150 x 35 cm

Hannah Lees, A Past and a Future IV, 2015 Vegetable dyed felt, polystyrene beads 480 x 150 x 35 cm

Hannah Lees

A Past and a Future IV, 2015
Vegetable dyed felt, polystyrene beads
480 x 150 x 35 cm

Installation view,

Installation view

Installation view,

Installation view

Hannah Lees, Tablet XXVII, 2014 Plaster, turmeric, mussel shells, plastic, fake plant, shell, wood, kelp stalk55 x 40cm

Hannah Lees

Tablet XXVII, 2014
Plaster, turmeric, mussel shells, plastic, fake plant, shell, wood, kelp stalk
55 x 40cm

Hannah Lees, Tablet XV, 2014 Plaster, onion skin dye, stone, pine cone, tile, wood, volcanic rock, marble50 x 37 cm

Hannah Lees

Tablet XV, 2014
Plaster, onion skin dye, stone, pine cone, tile, wood, volcanic rock, marble
50 x 37 cm

Hannah Lees, Tablet XXVIII, 2015 Plaster, mica flakes, glass, rubber, rope, shell, matches, cigarette butt, seed pods, wood, pistachio shells50 x 37 cm

Hannah Lees

Tablet XXVIII, 2015
Plaster, mica flakes, glass, rubber, rope, shell, matches, cigarette butt, seed pods, wood, pistachio shells
50 x 37 cm

Hannah Lees, Tablet XXX, 2015 Plaster, gold magnetic sand, coconut shell, coral, stone, pecan shell, lychee stone, limpet shell, teeth, cockle shell50 x 36 cm

Hannah Lees

Tablet XXX, 2015
Plaster, gold magnetic sand, coconut shell, coral, stone, pecan shell, lychee stone, limpet shell, teeth, cockle shell
50 x 36 cm

Hannah Lees, Tablet XXXIV, 2015 Plaster, silver magnetic sand, coconut shell, teeth, bone, glass, plastic, tile, iron45 x 35 cm 

Hannah Lees

Tablet XXXIV, 2015
Plaster, silver magnetic sand, coconut shell, teeth, bone, glass, plastic, tile, iron
45 x 35 cm

 

Hannah Lees, Tablet XXXIII, 2015 Plaster, black salt, peacock ore, glass, shell, clay pipe, oyster shell, iron48 x 37 cm

Hannah Lees

Tablet XXXIII, 2015
Plaster, black salt, peacock ore, glass, shell, clay pipe, oyster shell, iron
48 x 37 cm

Hannah Lees, Tablet XXIX, 2015 Plaster, copper powder, plastic, glass, shell, seed pods, pottery, coconut shell, bottle cap, fishing float, stone46 x 38 cm

Hannah Lees

Tablet XXIX, 2015
Plaster, copper powder, plastic, glass, shell, seed pods, pottery, coconut shell, bottle cap, fishing float, stone
46 x 38 cm

Hannah Lees, Tablet XXXI, 2015 Plaster, Iron powder, wood, stone, plastic, peridot/olivina, shell, volcanic rock, sea urchin, pottery47 x 36 cm

Hannah Lees

Tablet XXXI, 2015
Plaster, Iron powder, wood, stone, plastic, peridot/olivina, shell, volcanic rock, sea urchin, pottery
47 x 36 cm

Hannah Lees, Tablet XXXII, 2015 Plaster, marble dust, stone, glass, plastic, oyster shell, bone42 x 35 cm

Hannah Lees

Tablet XXXII, 2015
Plaster, marble dust, stone, glass, plastic, oyster shell, bone
42 x 35 cm

Hannah Lees, Tablet XXXV, 2015 Plaster, Indian ink, glass, pottery, ceramic46 x 34 cm 

Hannah Lees

Tablet XXXV, 2015
Plaster, Indian ink, glass, pottery, ceramic
46 x 34 cm

 

Hannah Lees, Zauber (Remixed by Will Ward), 2015 Sound loop

Hannah Lees

Zauber (Remixed by Will Ward), 2015
Sound loop