An exhibition of the work of Lee Travis (1939–2012)
A fascination with plant form, its structural concept and the microscopic condition of flowers and plants drove local artist Lee Travis to create these extraordinary abstract images during his frequent visits to the Normandy countryside. For this body of late work, Travis developed a new and experimental way of working, using pressed flowers and foliage as the starting point for many of paintings in this exhibition.
Travis wrote of his work, “Painting for me has always been an absorbing and sometimes painful voyage of discovery… I use the word paint advisedly for what continues to excite me is to apply paint to a surface and attempt to create an honesty and reality regardless of the subject matter. It is, and I hope always will be, a marvellous exploration.”
Travis was born on the Isle of Man and trained as a textile designer at Salford College of Art. His freelance work included designs for Courtaulds, Sanderson and Crown, Liberty and Richard Allen as well as graphic designs for the BBC and major publishing houses.
After 15 years in the advertising industry as art and creative directors, Travis began working on his personal drawing and painting projects full time as well as lecturing. His output was prolific. He exhibited widely including the Poole Fine Art Gallery, Singer Friedlander Gallery (London 1991) and Hamilton Gallery (New York), Pond Square Gallery (1992) and the Atelier La Cuviniere (Normandy 2004). He received commissions from Time Life Magazine and the energy company Power Gen. His work was accepted by the Royal Academy for its Summer Exhibition (1992).
Travis began this cohesive body of large works in oil and acrylic on canvas in 2011 and it was his wish to exhibit at Highgate Gallery. Sadly, Lee died suddenly of a heart attack in 2012. We are grateful to his widow, artist, designer and costume maker Yvonne, for curating this exhibition with us.