This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Rhys Lee Shares ‘10 Paintings and 100 Drawings’

Art

‘I always want to show everything that I make… get it out there! Otherwise it just sits in a studio pile or gallery stockroom,’ tells artist Rhys Lee.

In his current, epic exhibition at Nicholas Thomson Gallery, he’s certainly been able to showcase a great deal of his most recent output – a rich and brilliantly perturbing exploration of the human condition.

20th October, 2017

Rhys Lee at Nicholas Thompson Gallery, with works for his new show, 10 Paintings amd 100 Drawings’. Photo – Makiko Ryujin courtesy of Nicholas Thompson Gallery.

The exhibition is currently on at Nicholas Thompson Gallery in Melbourne, and runs until November 5th. Photo – Viki Petherbridge.

The vivid artworks explore mysterious, eerie scenarios and debauchery, staring Rhys’ vaguely grotesque figures, with hats and hands coincidently emerging as themes. Photography – courtesy of Nicholas Thompson Gallery.

‘When working on a large body of work its always exciting to see everything together on the wall. It doesn’t make much sense in the chaos of the studio floor!’ tells the artist. Photo – Makiko Ryujin.

The artist studied Graphic Design at Griffith University in Brisbane, though he was more committed to doing graffiti and developing his fine art practice. Photo – Viki Petherbridge.

‘Painting 1’ from ‘10 Paintings amd 100 Drawings’ by Rhys Lee. Photography – courtesy of Nicholas Thompson Gallery.

Rhys paints from his studio in Birregurra, one-and-a-half hours drive south-west of Melbourne. Photography – courtesy of Nicholas Thompson Gallery.

The epic showcase of 110 artworks. Photo – Viki Petherbridge.

Elle Murrell
Friday 20th October 2017

Rhys Lee likes to keep things to the point. His current exhibition, ‘10 Paintings and 100 Drawings’ at Nicholas Thompson Gallery in Melbourne, is just that: a series of oil-on-canvas artworks entitled ‘Painting 1-10’, and a neat 100 mixed-media-on-paper pieces entitled ‘Drawings 1-100’.

The internationally coveted artist has been working on these paintings at his home studio in the quiet Victorian country town of Birregurra over the past two years, while he began to produce the pastel and charcoal drawings from January this year, including when visiting New York and Germany. ‘It’s always interesting to work in a restricted or unfamiliar environment compared to the comfort of the studio,’ reflects the former Archibald Prize finalist.

The vivid artworks explore mysterious, eerie scenarios and debauchery, starring Rhys’ signature, vaguely grotesque figures –  a cast of cowboys, circus outcasts, humanlike animals and other skeletal subjects. For this epic showcase, the instinctive artist made his selections quite randomly. ‘The process could be different depending on the weather, or what you might be drinking at the time!’ he jokes, though highlighting that a theme of hands and hats coincidently emerged.

During the mid 90’s, the artist studied Graphic Design at Griffith University in Brisbane, though he was more committed to creating graffiti and developing his fine art practice. As Rhys tells the story, he moved to Melbourne in 1999 to immerse himself in the art and culture he felt he was missing out on, and today has over 30 solo exhibitions to his name. ‘I held painting and drawing in high regard, so a career in Graphic Design was never going to work out, too many compromises and hoops to jump through,’ says the forthright creative. ‘The only brief that I wanted to follow was my own.’

An industrious worker, Rhys dedicates a great deal of time to his practice, seeing every hour spent as a chance to evolve artistically and personally. ‘I work quickly, making a lot of work so the evolution gets a little sped up sometimes,’ he explains. ‘I want to keep going forward, and becoming better in all aspects.’

And so, true to form, Rhys is; he’s looking forward to building a new studio in the coming months, and we’re hoping ‘more space and a clean slate’ facilitates many more captivating artworks and exhibitions.

‘10 Paintings and 100 Drawings’ by Rhys Lee
October 14th to November 5th
Nicholas Thompson Gallery
155 Langridge St, Collingwood, Melbourne

 

View Comments

Similar Stories

Art

Stefan Dunlop · Titles Are Hard

A new exhibition from the Queensland based painter, based on a fragmentation of space, form and colour.
Elle Murrell

Art

Kevin Chin · Refuge

The Melbourne-based artist exploring universal themes of journey, transition and sanctuary.
Elle Murrell

Art

Sonny Dalimore

A Northcote-based painter inspired by the immersive landscapes encountered on his travels.
Elle Murrell

This Week

Interiors

A Joyful Home, Full Of Whimsy + Glamour

Scalloped edges and vibrant colours have elevated this Sydney terrace by Arent&Pyke.
Amelia Barnes
  10 hours ago

News

An Online Super Store + Subscription Service For All-Natural Goodies

GoodnessMe carries over 3,000 products from snacks to ready-made meals – with samples delivered to your door every month!
Sponsored

Architecture

A Modernist-Inspired Seaside Home

This adaptable, Victorian seaside home designed by Nest Architects and Placement blurs the line between modernism and contemporary design. ...

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!

Architecture

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Architect

Four of Australia's best architects answer your frequently asked questions, from what an architect does, to how much they cost!

News

The TDF ‘ALL THE THINGS’ 500k Giveaway!

Help us celebrate half a million (!) Insta followers with epic prize packs for three lucky readers! 

News

Shop These Plush Woollen Rugs And Get A Special TDF Discount!

Carpet Court’s customisable rug range is made with 100% New Zealand wool and can be cut to suit the size, shape and colour of your interio...
Sponsored

Interiors

A Before-And-After Interior Renovation That’ll Knock Your Socks Off!

AMA Studio Interiors transforms a rustic, wood-panelled cottage on the NSW Central Coast into dreamy family retreat.
Sasha Gattermayr
  2 hours ago
51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....

Studio Visit

Two Best Friends' Lockdown Hobby Turned Cult Candle Business

Creative entrepreneurs Ruby Kannava and Emma Cutri pooled their respective small business knowledge to found Blazed Wax - a colourful, cult-...

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!

Interiors

Get The Look: Dark + Moody Bathrooms And Kitchens

All the product and styling advice you need to achieve the dark, moody bathrooms and kitchen interiors trend, brought to you Oliveri.

Homes

A Designer’s 1970s Bells Beach Dream Home!

The incredible eclectic home of interior designer Léo Terrando and Jessica Watts, on Victoria's surf coast.

News

Get Luxe Designer Furniture For Up To 15% Off!

Designer furniture retailer DOMO is discounting in-stock and custom items from HC28 + HC28 Cosmopolitan.
Sponsored

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.

Similar Stories

Art

Stefan Dunlop · Titles Are Hard

A new series from the painter, based on a fragmentation of space, form and colour.
Elle Murrell

Art

Kevin Chin · Refuge

The Melbourne-based artist exploring universal themes of journey, transition and sanctuary.
Elle Murrell

Art

Sonny Dalimore

A Northcote-based painter inspired by the immersive landscapes encountered on his travels.
Elle Murrell

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.