Katie Lee art – Exhibition in Manchester, UK
Katie Lee recently hosted a small-scale art exhibition at LEAF in Manchester. On the 7th of February 2020 we were invited to attend an event she hosted called “Space Punk Art Show”; a title which perfectly characterises her unique style and vision.
Going by her moniker of The Social Butterfly North on Instagram, Katie is an emerging artist based in Liverpool, UK. She graduated with a Fine Arts degree and then embarked on a journey to succeed in the world of art. Like so many of her predecessors, she undertook smaller art projects with an aim to build notoriety for herself, piece by piece. In doing so, she spent a significant amount of time undertaking work in many places from restaurants, beauty salons and fitness studios, eventually establishing her brand as The Social Butterfly North. Currently she is hard at work in spearheading her new all female art collective; “Boss Babes”, which had resulted as a rebuttal from her personal experiences in seeing a lack of female presence in art today.
The Themes of Katie Lee’s Space Punk Art Show Manchester
As much as we would love to continue talking about her journey as an artist we would like to concentrate on the theme and style of her art show. Deeply rooted in modern art and containing traces of graffiti style and pop art we can see images of space, medication, themes of self-love and harsh contrasts of colours that form an almost neon-punk aesthetic. This definetly falls in line with Boss Babes’ ethos of independence and artistic freedom.
A lot of my paintings have started as a way of dealing with different personal problems present in my life. One example would be anxiety.Katie Lee Artist, Manchester 2020
With a background of exploring abstract expressionism, we wondered what inspired Katie to turn to figurative painting. She revealed that much of the exhibition is highly influenced by her past experiences at university, some of which being a witness to its drug culture. Having never took part, Katie gets her ideas from an outsiders perspective, using her friends’ experiences of being under the influence as a way to interpret what they feel and perceive (which then gives rise to some of the more surreal nature of her work) in an attempt to understand.
While some paintings create a sense of wonder and curiosity from taking drugs recreationally there were also some illustrations that revealed the downside of dependence. Katie explained the origins’ of one of her paintings, “Happy Pills”, which was directly influenced by seeing a close associate of hers completely stripped of their required medication (by their own free-will) as means of taking back control. The painting itself displays a clear duality of two distinct states, with a medication tablet at the forefront to highlight the dependency that some are unfortunate enough to suffer and how large of a role it plays in some people’s’ lives.
All in all…
The creative vision Katie channelled to produce the artwork present at Space Punk Art Show at LEAF Manchester is not only produced as a cathartic experience from the past, but it actually represents revisited sketches drawn during that period of the time.
With unwavering determination, Katie Lee seems to bear the makings of an artist that is fuelled by clear passion for her vision and with the creation of her new art collective Boss Babes. She has proven that she is an individual who cares deeply for artists whose voices have been muffled by the world of art.
Shirko Abid is a walking cultural database with a deep passion for the film and music industries.