Philip Lee and Cally Trench: Live performances

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Philip Lee and Cally Trench collaborate on performances.

In Tied Slip I, 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.

In Tied Slip II, 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
National Glass Centre, Sunderland
5th April 2011

Tied Slip II by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Philip Lee and Cally Trench, Tied Slip II
Firestation Centre for Arts & Culture
Windsor, 23rd April 2011

Body Body Clay Pane 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'.

Spode Slip was performed in the Spode factory, Stoke-on-Trent during the British Ceramics Biennial. 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

Philip Lee and Cally Trench, Body Body Clay Pane
South Hill Park, Bracknell
13th October 2011

Spode Slip by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Philip Lee and Cally Trench, Spode Slip
Spode factory, Stoke-on-Trent
(British Ceramics Biennial), 20th October 2011

Philip Lee and Cally Trench performed Body Body Chair Slip 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. See Out of the Dark.

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. See The Re...Show. Click here to see a short film by Highway productions.

Body Body Chair Slip by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Philip Lee and Cally Trench, Body Body Chair Slip
Out of the Dark, High Wycombe
12th November 2011

Body Body Chair Slip by Philip Lee and Cally Trench




Philip Lee and Cally Trench performed Double Helix 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 apply the tape, slap on body paint, and remove the tape demands a certain set of movements. It has elements in common with a magic trick, as the final removal of the tape reveals a spiral pattern on each body. Click here for the Rubik's Cube blog.

Double Helix by Philip Lee and Cally Trench

Philip Lee and Cally Trench, Double Helix
at The Rubik's Cube, The Joiners' Arms, Hackney
29th January 2012

Double Helix by Philip Lee and Cally Trench




Triple Spin was performed by Philip Lee, Ann Rapstoff and Cally Trench during Remarkable Place, at The Keep, Reading, on 25th March 2012. Ann, dressed in white, and Cally, dressed in black, painted Philip in broad black and white stripes with a yellow top to his head, so that he resembled a Belisha beacon. Their subsequent actions inside the Keep and outside - both in the grounds and in the street - continued their ongoing research into, and celebration of, zebra crossings.

Triple Spin by Philip Lee, Ann Rapstoff and Cally Trench Triple Spin by Philip Lee, Ann Rapstoff and Cally Trench

Triple Spin by Philip Lee, Ann Rapstoff and Cally Trench, during Remarkable Place, at The Keep, Reading, on 25th March 2012
Photographs by Joan Skelton Smith

As part of their ongoing research into zebra crossings, Ann Rapstoff, Cally Trench and Philip Lee invited visitors to join them on a visit to a nearby pelican crossing, which they converted temporarily into a zebra crossing. Zebra Pelican Cross took place during The Remarkable Shed Party on Sunday 15th July 2012.

Zebra Pelican Cross Zebra Pelican Cross Zebra Pelican Cross

Zebra Pelican Cross (2012) by Ann Rapstoff, Cally Trench and Philip Lee
Photographs by Mary Yacoob

Zebra Pelican Cross Zebra Pelican Cross Zebra Pelican Cross

Cally Trench and Philip Lee co-curated an exhibition Do you remember it - or weren't you there?, showing work by artists and writers made in response to seeing Philip and Cally perform. 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 is 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 and more. The exhibition was open 31 January to 3 March 2013, at London Gallery West, University of Westminster, Harrow Campus, Northwick Park, Watford Road, Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 3TP

Sixteen Dada Heads performance by Cally Trench and Philip Lee

Cally Trench and Philip Lee performing Sixteen Dada Heads
at the Eagle Gallery, 13 July 2013.

Sixteen Dada Heads performance by Cally Trench and Philip Lee

Cally Trench and Philip Lee performing Sixteen Dada Heads
at the Tetley, Leeds, 9 March 2014.

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, 21 June to 19 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 the 13 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 2014at The Tetley, Leeds as part of Book Act, an AMBruno event curated by Sophie Loss as part of PAGES.

Slip Stroll by Cally Trench and Philip Lee

Philip Lee and Cally Trench performing Slip Stroll
at the National Centre for Craft and Design, Sleaford, 24 January 2014.

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 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 essential material is his own naked body. His work is the result of an obsessive investigation into the nature of bodies. Live performance is central to his work. Click here for Philip Lee's website

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