“I’m interested in people on the fringes, and finding ways to encourage them to find their voice is a passion of mine, like I was encouraged those years ago. Four years ago I held curatorial workshops with five prisoner’s families, which led to a Koestler Arts exhibition at Southbank Centre. Some of the family members had never visited an exhibition before and felt art was something they couldn’t engage with easily, but wanted to participate, in order to better understand their loved one inside. I was humbled by their bravery, the positive response from the public, and having the chance to play a small part in removing the barrier that made them feel they weren’t a part of the art world. More of this kind of facilitating is the contribution I wish to make in the arts sector.”
Lee is interested in overlooked communities, unearthing hidden voices, and discovering the role art can play towards shaping social change. Recent projects have offered creative insights into the culture found within our prison systems across the UK.
In 2018, he produced the exhibition I’m Still Here for prison charity Koestler Arts at the Southbank and published the handmade art book An Inside Story. Handbound and covered in prison bedsheets and visitation shirts, this edition provides insight into the language, spaces and objects found in prisons. The book is now used across twenty-five prisons as part of a programme developed by the Shannon Trust, a charity which helps thousands of people in prison each year to learn how to read.