Let us go then, you and I. Hannah Lees, Grand Union, January 2016.
Hannah Lees’ practice investigates cycles, the inevitability of decay and the potential of regeneration. Lees works fluidly across different media, querying the substance of materials, science, religion and history, often presenting traces of processes and organic matter.
On this occasion, Lees presents a new primitive sculptural work, treating the vitrine as the site for a possible altarpiece. The sculpture is dense with materials and possible interpretation, evoking landscapes, journeys and mortality.
To accompany Lees’ Nomadic Vitrine, Lees invites the viewer to participate in the ancient communal ritual of consuming bread and wine. Einkorn bread (made from the closest living relation to the first cultivated grain) and red wine free from added sulphites are offered as “gifts” on cloth made from vegetable die.
The dripped stains on the walls are made from red wine sediment called “lees”, sourced from the London Cru Urban Winery. The sediment is the main component in winemaking but ultimately the material that is discarded at the end of the process. The artist’s use of wine sediment stems from her interest and research into her name, Lees, which becomes a departure point for the expansion from language to object.
I came like water and like wind I go
Red wine lees stains
In the earth, in the air
Vitrine, clay, incense sticks, colour-drip candles, painted wheat, palm leaves, oyster shells, bone from the River Thames, red wine less, charcoal and incense made with magical intent.
Where the new can emerge I
Glass, red wine less stains.
Let us go then, you and I
Vegetable died cloth, glasses, red wine, sour dough Einkorn bread and wooden bench (courtesy of Grand Union).