Skip navigation

Colours I

Live performance with white, yellow, red and blue body paints, and water

Installation included birthing-pool liner and wood

25 and 26 April 2009

Part of East Wing Collection VIII - On Time
Courtauld Institute of Art,
Somerset House, Strand, London

Lee performed Colours I throughout the weekend.

For Colours, Lee installed two octagons of birthing-pool liner fixed to the ground with silver gaffer tape. Standing at the centre of one of these octagons, Lee applied different coloured body-paints from head to toe and then toe to head and so on. Each colour - white, yellow, red and finally blue - was applied to an eighth of his body at a time and between each section Lee paused standing still until the allotted time had passed. Before starting each section of his body he rotated to face the next facet of the floor octagon.

By employing different coloured paints for each sequence, the body's skin becomes an ever-changing 'palimpsest'. Lee struggles to follow his self-imposed schedule and by his failure to cover his body completely, and the tendency for the colours to mix, his body surface, especially in close up, becomes a series of extraordinarily colourful accidents or beautiful landscapes

Assisted during the performance by Bruce Currie.
Photography by Bruce Currie and Ilenia Bombardi
Additional photography by Sophie Loss,
Video filming by Bruce Currie
Video editing by Aaron Kay with Philip Lee
Philip acknowledges practical and conceptual input from Bruce Currie and Cally Trench in the development of this work.

Return to Portfolio