Philip Lee and Cally Trench: Live performances

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Philip Lee and Cally Trench have collaborated on live performances since 2009. Philip Lee has been performing with clay since 2003. Venues for his work have included The Courtauld Institute, Matts Gallery, The Nunnery Gallery in Bow, South Hill Park and the Design Museum. Philip Lee has a BA in Ceramics from the University of Westminster (2001) and an MA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins (2007). Philip Lee is a performance artist whose medium and subject is his own naked body; live performance is central to his work. Click here for Philip Lee's website

Hide and Slip by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Philip Lee and Cally Trench, Hide and Slip (23rd November 2014)
Photo: Steve Perfect

Hide and Slip by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Photo: Steve Perfect

Hide and Slip by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Photo: Steve Perfect

Hide and Slip by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Photo: Steve Perfect

Philip Lee and Cally Trench performed Hide and Slip on 23rd November 2014 in Control Room at The Control Room, Bristol (curated by Rekha Sameer). Cally, in a blue taffeta evening dress, removed Philip's bow tie, dress shirt, cummerbund and dinner suit, and helped him dunk his head and hands in a bucket of clay slip, watched by the audience on the pavement outside of The Control Room through windows and in reflections from four mirrors. Cally offered visitors wrapped sweets from a ceramic platter, encouraging them to enjoy themselves while Philip shivered with cold and discomfort.



Slip and Taffeta by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Philip Lee and Cally Trench, Slip and Taffeta (28th June 2014)
Photo: Neil Fowler

Slip and Taffeta by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Photo: Frank Corfield

Slip and Taffeta by CPhilip Lee and Cally Trench

Photo: Frank Corfield

Slip and Taffeta by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Photo: Frank Corfield

Philip Lee and Cally Trench performed Slip and Taffeta on 28th June 2014 at Oriel Davies, Newtown, Powys at the opening of Creating a Scene, which had toured from the National Centre for Craft and Design, Sleaford. Philip removed his suit, and Cally, in a purple evening dress, covered Philip in clay slip and mars violet pigment. They then processed to the main gallery, where Philip stood beside and walked around his installation of ceramic torsos. Cally offered visitors wrapped sweets from a very large ceramic platter.



Slip Stroll by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Philip Lee and Cally Trench, Slip Stroll (24th January 2014)

Slip Stroll by Philip Lee and Cally Trench


Philip Lee and Cally Trench performed Slip Stroll on 24th January 2014 at the National Centre for Craft and Design, Sleaford at the opening of Creating a Scene. Philip, naked and covered in clay slip and mars violet pigment, stood beside and walked around his installation of ceramic torsos. Cally, in the blue taffeta evening dress, which she wore to apply the slip to Philip, offered visitors wrapped sweets from a large ceramic platter.



Sixteen Dada Heads performance by Cally Trench and Philip Lee

Cally Trench and Philip Lee, Sixteen Dada Heads (13th July 2014)
Emma Hill Fine Art Eagle Gallery
Photo: Sophie Loss

Sixteen Dada Heads performance by Cally Trench and Philip Lee

Cally Trench and Philip Lee, Sixteen Dada Heads (9th March 2014)
The Tetley, Leeds
Photo: Cally Trench

16 Dada Heads, a book by Cally Trench and Philip Lee, was included in Punctuations, Separations & Artists' Books at Emma Hill Fine Art Eagle Gallery, 21st June to 19th July 2013, along with other books on the theme of 16 by members of AMbruno. During Drinks and Dada, a poetry and performance event held on 13th July 2013, Cally Trench and Philip Lee performed Sixteen Dada Heads, animating the book.

Cally and Philip performed Sixteen Dada Heads again on Saturday 9th March 2014 at The Tetley, Leeds as part of Book Act, an AMBruno event curated by Sophie Loss as part of PAGES.



Do you remember it - or weren't you there? (2013), London Gallery West, University of Westminster. Photo: Moacir Lopes

Cally Trench and Philip Lee co-curated an exhibition Do you remember it - or weren't you there? (2013), an exhibition of work by artists and writers whose starting point was a live performance by Philip Lee and Cally Trench.

As an experiment, in 2010, Philip and Cally invited a number of artists to make work, their own work, not documentation, triggered by seeing one of their Blindfold Slip performances in late 2010 and early 2011. They wanted to explore the idea that one way of creating that feeling, of conveying a memory of the experience, might be through the making of another work of art. They proposed that this would be comparable to ekphrasis, the dramatic description of a work of art in the form of a poem.

Do you remember it - or weren't you there? featured work by Marco Cali, Alison Carter Tai, Judy Goldhill, Jane Grisewood, Ingrid Jensen, Lydia Julien, Philip Lee, Sophie Loss, Tony Moody, Claire Norman, Lorraine Pepper, Steve Perfect, Alan Prosser, Ann Rapstoff, Zahed Tajeddin, Cally Trench, Helen Udal, Mary Yacoob, and Silvia Ziranek, and was curated by Cally Trench and Philip Lee.

Click here for the Do you remember it -or weren't you there? website, with links to the press release, catalogue essay, photograph album and more. The exhibition was open 31st January to 3rd March 2013, at London Gallery West, University of Westminster, Harrow Campus.



Window Slip by Philip Lee in collaboration with Cally Trench

Philip Lee in collaboration with Cally Trench, Window Slip
(15th July 2012) Photos: Mary Yacoob

Window Slip

Window Slip

Window Slip

Philip Lee performed Window Slip in collaboration with Cally Trench on 15th January 2012 at Sophie's Shed, London, during The Remarkable Shed Party, part of Remarkable and Curious Conversations (curated by Cally Trench). Philip stood naked in a subterranean area in front of the large barred kitchen window of Sophie's house. He put wound dressings over my eyes, before Cally (wearing a silver skirt) threw, flicked, poured and pelted him with clay slip from above and the side. The audience watched through the open window from inside the house.

Double Helix by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Philip Lee and Cally Trench, Double Helix (29th January 2012)
Photos: Cally Trench

Double Helix by Philip Lee and Cally Trench


Philip Lee and Cally Trench performed Double Helix (2012) at The Rubik's Cube, The Joiners' Arms, Hackney, London, on 29th January 2012 (curated by Iceberg Fernandez). In Double Helix, the performers' bodies were transformed from clothed to painted in spirals of black body paint, via intermediate stages of nakedness, being bound in tape, and being taped and painted. The process by which the performers applied the tape, slapped on body paint, and removed the tape demanded a certain set of movements. It had elements in common with a magic trick, as the final removal of the tape revealed a spiral pattern on each body. Click here for the Rubik's Cube blog.

Body Body Chair Slip by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Philip Lee and Cally Trench, Body Body Chair Slip
(12th November 2011) Photos: Cally Trench

Body Body Chair Slip by Philip Lee and Cally Trench



Philip Lee and Cally Trench performed Body Body Chair Slip (2011) at the private view of The Re...Show, an exhibition curated by Rekha Sameer at Out of the Dark, High Wycombe on Saturday 12th November 2011. Out of the Dark is a project to train disaffected and discouraged young people in furniture restoration skills. The young people repair and repaint old furniture, creating interesting and attractive one-off pieces. Philip Lee and Cally Trench were among twelve artists with work in the exhibition, which took place from 11th November to 25th November 2011. The other artists were Abi Spendlove, Ben Hodson, Gin Durham, Jamie Bradbury, Josephine Reichert, Katherine Melancon, Kirsten Linning, Pedro Pires, Rekha Sameer and Rory Clark. The exhibition received funding from Arts Council England.

Spode Slip by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Philip Lee and Cally Trench, Spode Slip (20th October 2011)
Photos: Cally Trench

Spode Slip by Philip Lee and Cally Trench



Spode Slip (2011) was performed in the Spode factory, Stoke-on-Trent during the British Ceramics Biennial. Cally coated the naked Philip in terrcotta clay slip and black pigment while he stood against a canvas backdrop. Philip then coated the clothed Cally in white clay slip and red pigment. The hanging canvas backdrop was left behind as both evidence and outcome of the performance.

Body Body Clay Pane by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Photo: Sarah Jane Wilson

Body Body Clay Pane by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Photo: Sarah Jane Wilson

Body Body Clay Pane by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Philip Lee and Cally Trench, Body Body Clay Pane
(13th October 2011) Photo: Cally Trench

Body Body Clay Pane (2011) was devised in response to Adam Marsh's installation, A throne is only a bench covered in velvet in the Wilde Theatre at South Hill Park; the event was curated by Outi Remes. Philip Lee and Cally Trench performed in the Ceramics Studio where Adam had worked during his two-year residency at the arts centre, and used a number of Adam's ceramic pots and bowls. Their performance has been described as 'mystical'.

Tied Slip II by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Philip Lee and Cally Trench, Tied Slip II (23rd April 2011)
Photos: Cally Trench

Tied Slip II by Philip Lee and Cally Trench



In Tied Slip II (2011), in the Firestation Centre for Arts & Culture, Windsor, with the audience seated in darkness above the performers, Philip Lee and Cally Trench enacted a power struggle between themselves and with the cold, heavy and uncomfortable clay slip. The black floorcloth recorded the movements and actions of the performers.

Tied Slip I by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Philip Lee and Cally Trench, Tied Slip I (5th April 2011)
Photos: Cally Trench

Tied Slip I by Philip Lee and Cally Trench



In Tied Slip I (2011), in the industrial environment of the Hot Glass Workshop at the National Glass Centre, Sunderland, Philip Lee (naked) and Cally Trench (clothed) were tied together and struggled to cover each other in clay slip. Colluding in the discomfort and punishment, each played by particular rules unknown to the viewer. They were intimately connected during a struggle with each other and the clay. Neither performer spoke. During the performance the balance of power and initiative shifted between the performers. The slip transformed the performers, so that they became objects and monsters.

Blindfold Slip Private by Philip Lee in collaboration with Cally Trench

Philip Lee in collaboration with Cally Trench
Blindfold Slip Private (29th January 2011)
Photos: Lorraine Pepper

Blindfold Slip Private by Philip Lee in collaboration with Cally Trench




Blindfold Slip III by Philip Lee in collaboration with Cally Trench

Philip Lee in collaboration with
Cally Trench, Blindfold Slip III
(23rd October 2010)
Photos: Heidi Locher

Blindfold Slip III by Philip Lee in collaboration with Cally Trench




Blindfold Slip II by Philip Lee in collaboration with Cally Trench

Philip Lee in collaboration with
Cally Trench, Blindfold Slip II
(16th October 2010)
Photo: Marco Cali

Blindfold Slip II by Philip Lee in collaboration with Cally Trench

Philip Lee in collaboration with Cally Trench, Blindfold Slip II
(16th October 2010) Photo: Marco Cali

Blindfold Slip I by Philip Lee in collaboration with Cally Trench

Philip Lee in collaboration with Cally
Trench, Blindfold Slip I
(5th October 2010) Photo: Tony Moody

Blindfold Slip I by Philip Lee in collaboration with Cally Trench

Photo: Sophie Loss


Philip Lee performed a series of four Blindfold Slip performances in 2010 in collaboration with Cally Trench. For each performance, Philip was blindfolded while Cally applied clay slip to his naked body. Philip then lay, still blindfolded, on the floor. Blindfold Slip I was performed at the opening of Benjamin Cohen, a solo show of paintings by Benjamin Cohen curated by HRL Contemporary at The Old Truman Brewery, London, 5th October 2010. Blindfold Slip II was part of Performance at the Nunnery: Move Me! curated by Cinzia Cremona and hosted by Visions at the Nunnery 2010, 16th October 2010. Blindfold Slip III was part of Exquisite Stone Corpse - a concatenation - curated by Sophie Loss at The Stone Squid Experimental Art Space, Hastings, 23rd October 2010. Blindfold Slip Private was performed at the University of Westminster, Harrow Campus, 29th January 2011.

Spiral for Bruno by Philip Lee in collaboration with Cally Trench

Philip Lee in collaboration with Cally Trench
Spiral for Bruno (22nd August 2010) Photos: Cally Trench

Spiral for Bruno by Philip Lee in collaboration with Cally Trench



Spiral for Bruno, a private commission, was part of Camouflage, a collaboration between Philip Lee (performance artist), Cally Trench (painter), and Judy Goldhill (photographer), resulting in performances, photographs, videos, and a flipbook. Cally Trench aimed to distort and disguise Philip Lee's body by painting it in ways informed by dazzle camouflage, zebras, crumpled clothes and migraine visual disturbances.

Pillowcase Slip by Philip Lee, assisted by Bruce Currie and Cally Trench

Philip Lee assisted by Bruce Currie and Cally Trench
Pillowcase Slip (24th January 2010)
Photos: Bruce Currie

Cally Trench embroidered the pillow case that Philip Lee wore for Pillowcase Slip at the Anthea Turner Prize exhibition and prize giving, Islington, London, 24th January 2010.

Corpus Slip II by Philip Lee, assisted by Cally Trench

Philip Lee assisted by Cally Trench
Corpus Slip II (15th October 2009)
Photos: Romain Forquy

Corpus Slip II by Philip Lee, assisted by Cally Trench




Corpus Slip II by Philip Lee, assisted by Cally Trench




Philip Lee and Cally Trench first worked together when Cally assisted Philip with Corpus Slip II at the closing event of Corpus, a group show organised by HRL Contemporary at The Old Chapel, St John's Wood, London, 15th October 2009. Cally covered Philip in clay slip and mars violet pigment in private, before he processed around the gallery and stood beside his installation of twenty-one ceramic Slab Torsos IV. With Cally's assistance, he then made body prints on paper on the floor.

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