Inspiration is an art

A Blackpool-trained artist has her work featured on BBC2's Culture Show later this month. The programme, marking the end of Liverpool's stint as Capital of Culture and to celebrate some of the year's highlights will be shown on Sunday, January 18.

One of the features on the show is the work of Patricia Lee who last September saw her Mandy Mandala Superlambanana design sold at auction for a staggering 25,000 to TV producer, scriptwriter and Chair of National Museums Liverpool, Phil Redmond.

"Mandy is a stunning and significant piece of art and will be a lasting testament to Liverpool's vibrancy and cultural diversity," said Phil at the time.

Patricia Lee studied graphic design in Blackpool before gaining a first class honours degree in design and technology at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Mandy is also the inspiration for Patricia's most recent work to be showcased at an exhibition at Knutsford's Firbob and Peacock Gallery from Friday January 9 to February 12.

"Mandy is the mother of four new minilambananas," said Patricia. "Whilst she represents unity and nurturing, the new baby lambs all have quite different characteristics.

"Mindy is the glitzy, glamourous, eccentric lamb, bejeweled in a diamante pink and black zebra design whilst Moody is the deep and thoughtful one with many hidden depths. Misty is the dreamy one and Maddy? She's just mad!"

Patricia recently worked with Art Attack's Neil Buchanan and more than 60 school children on Liverpool's Our City project.

She is currently working with a group of 33 pupils from Years 5 and 6 at Holmes Chapel Primary School on a Healthy Eating Art Workshop where the children will plan, design and make two mosaic murals for the school hall.

"I think sometimes kids believe artists are people who lived a long time ago," she says.

"So when they find out that you're an artist and that's what you do for a living, it makes it all seem more real and valid and they can't wait to share their creative ideas with you.

"I believe everybody has some degree of creativity within them.

"Teaching art is more about bringing something out than putting something in so I encourage my students to let their minds run wild and then help them harness their amazing ideas to create beautiful pieces of art and work as part of a team. Inspiring kids to think and actually make their ideas into a reality is what I’m most passionate about.”

Patricia creates unique indoor and outdoor artworks using glass and complementary materials.

She also works in schools and on projects across the North West as a community artist and is available for commission work.

Mandy Mandala Superlambanana was originally commissioned by Liverpool charity Arts in Regeneration for the Go Superlambananas Project being run by the Liverpool Culture Company and organised by Wild in Art, as part of Liverpool’s Year as European Capital of Culture.

The original, 17ft, yellow Superlambanana (the front half of a lamb and the back half of a banana) was first created in 1998 by Japanese Artist Taro Chiezo to warn about the dangers of genetically modified food.

Mandy is now housed at World Museum Liverpool until she moves to the new Museum of Liverpool when it opens in 2010.

Patricia adds: “I really am thrilled that Mandy will continue to be accessible to the public. She was created as a gift to the people and communities of Liverpool and this way she can continue to be just that.”