Lee Fether

Works
Biography

'There is a sense of freedom when painting a self-portrait - no one else to consider and I don't care how I come across. There is a freedom to be bolder, to know when it is finished. But it is also hard when looking at your reflected image, there is a need to stop making judgements or assumptions, and a need to be in a disconnected state of mind.'

Born in North London in 1965, Lee Fether studied Industrial Design at the Central School of Art and Design in London between 1983 and 1987. Fether then worked as a product designer in London and Tokyo for a number of years before returning to painting and drawing after starting her family. In 2009, Fether's portrait of actress Gail Porter was selected for the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery. Fether's portrait of poet and children's author Michael Rosen was acquired for the National Portrait Gallery's Collection. Another of Fether's self-portraits was exhibited at the Self Portrait Prize Exhibition in 2011, with her 2012 self-portrait being acquired from the following Prize in 2013. Fether has since exhibited her work at Blackheath Halls, GWest Gallery, JP Art Gallery and Greenwich Open Studios.

Originally a portrait painter, Fether's more recent work has explored architectural landscapes, both real and imagined, adapting her delicate rendering of human physiology to the anatomy of urban cityscapes. The beginnings of Fether's architectural pieces can be seen in her second portrait of Michael Rosen, entitled just 'Michael' where the soft contours of a building loom behind the figure of Michael.

A piece from her figurative era, Fether's self-portrait uses an earthy palette to capture her likeness. Fether stares beyond the canvas, her directional application of oil paint capturing the natural contours of her face. While her recent work is less figurative, Fether has long been an appreciator of the self-portrait, particularly Rembrandt's, as a way 'to track and understand an artist's progress' and says 'there is a sense of freedom when painting a self-portrait - no one else to consider and I don't care how I come across. There is a freedom to be bolder, to know when it is finished. But it is also hard when looking at your reflected image, there is a need to stop making judgements or assumptions, and a need to be in a disconnected state of mind.'