Patrick Turner-Lee – Artist Inspired by the i360
Over the past few months, we have had many talented artists and photographers sending us imagery of the Brighton i360 not only in construction phase but also their Brighton i360 inspired artwork. From Lisa Holdcroft’s cartoons of the Brighton i360, to photography, illustration and oil paintings. It is thrilling to see so many creative people, inspired to produce artwork of the Brighton i360.
Today we are sharing the work of Patrick Turner-Lee. Patrick shared a striking oil painting on Twitter recently. This was the very first oil painting of the Brighton i360 observation tower we had seen and we were intrigued to know more.
Patrick kindly agreed to this Q&A which makes for a fascinating read. His journey to becoming an artist is a varied one and is proof that we should all challenge our feelings of rejection and follow our hearts.
Over to you Patrick…
What is your background as an artist?
My background is an interesting journey. When I was young I wanted to be an actor and tried unsuccessfully to get a place in a drama school. I wasn’t the best at reaching out for support and also found rejection very hard. Of course most people do. I moved from my home town in Bognor Regis to London and met the practise of Nichiren Buddhism and the Soka Gakkai International. I was involved in a big show at the Hammersmith Odeon about Alice in Wonderland and this gave me confidence to have another go at challenging deep feelings of rejection.
Anyhow I ended up doing some work in Tottenham Court road on the Comedy circuit and then went to Sydney Australia for a while where I worked with a Chinese Dance company doing improvised music in experimental improv dance sessions.
I also learnt a bit about working with masks and brought this back to the UK. Of course I was young and not brilliantly organised. I moved to Brighton in 1988 in view of doing workshops around mask performance work.
Then everything changed: I got a mortgage, bought a flat, met my wife and to support this worked at Royal Mail first as a postman then later as a manager.
Then 26 years later in 2013 on Xmas day I had a heart attack. During my recovery period I started drawing and much to my surprise started to make real progress with it.
I researched and self taught myself oil pastels and Watercolours but in October 2014 found oil painting. It’s been extraordinary. I feel that I have painted all of my life and constantly amaze myself at what I am painting.
like the London Eye and Gherkin [the Brighton i360] makes for a defining structure in a picture or piece of art in any medium.
What inspired you to paint the i360?
Everyday as part of my health regime I walk our dog Ginger, on the racecourse. The panoramic view is stunning and gradually the Brighton i360 has been growing. I don’t necessarily decide what I am going to paint. Like my poetry the painting is a thought collage. So years of memories of living by the sea are punctuated with visions from my subconscious.
As an artist, what are your thoughts about the Brighton i360?
I think it is great for artists because like the London Eye and Gherkin, it makes for a defining structure in a picture or piece of art in any medium.
What forthcoming exhibitions do you have?
There is presently a few pieces in Woods Restaurant in Tunbridge Wells
I am displaying work with four other artists who are part of Woods Creative group in Tunbridge Wells from 30th November 2015.
I am also exhibiting at one of the National Centres for the SGI Buddhist Organisation. This will be on for two months.
I am developing websites to show my work and have an Etsy shop and also more than happy to take on commissions including portrait work.
Many thanks for sharing your work and process Patrick!