Painting Frenzy, April 2012, Sanayeh House, Beirut, Lebanon
This painting installation was influenced by my work with children in a rehabilitation pre-school - Ghassan Kanafani Cultural Foundation (GKCF) - in Mar Elias Refugee Camp, Beirut. Having left my studio in Deptford London, I stayed in Sanayeh House, Beirut, which was shared accommodation mainly with Syrian people at the time. To continue to make my own 'studio based' paintings, I used my bedroom as a private space to make work. Whilst based here I also made a graphite storyboard, and three paintings on board. Some of my housemates and their friends were remarkable artists.
'Yesterday I had a ‘Painting frenzy’, which followed a trip on the school bus around different refugee camps as the children got dropped home. It is telling that in my process notes I only stated that I went to these camps and it was a valuable thing to do. Expected more of a reaction than that. But later when nine fairly substantial paintings seemed to make themselves it was clear that there had been an impact.’ Lee Simmons art diary, April 2012.
'Painting Frenzy', Acrylic paint on paper, 60x30cm, Beirut 2012