KACIE LEES: SHE BENDSSydney Cummings
“When neon is on, we can’t help but be pulled into its vortex of excitation. Why is that? What is in there that satiates the eyes?”
Since 2008, that’s the question Kacie Lees has been asking herself as she is captivated by the draw of neon’s glow as a neon bender.
“My work is non-traditional. I make experimental color sandwiches and multiples in an effort to encapsulate time and record motion,” she said. “I often say that neon is a time capsule to the moment it was made – the same gas is encased in the same glass since the second it was processed on the manifold.”
Kacie’s go-to neon product supplied by Abitech is the Tecnolux Black Light Coated 10mm glass.
“This material has an other-worldly breath,” Kacie said. “When working with Tecnolux Black Light Coated in the fires, the color shift it goes through from cold (black) to flaming orange and yellow (hot) is both gorgeous and telling. Seeing the color changes makes visible how heat travels in glass.”
Other products this She Bends artist uses includes the Tecnolux Classic Rainbow, Traffic Light Yellow, Salmon Rose and Ocean Blue glass.
Kacie values being a part of the She Bends community for many reasons, but overall, she values a supportive resource of minds. She hopes to help the next generation of neon makers through her work and involvement in the industry. Along with creating neon, Kacie also teaches workshops and hosts exhibitions to show off her work.
“Future neon makers are atomic sculptors. I hope to help lift the focus of neon from a tool of consumerism and advertisement to an experiment in dance, meditation, language, performance, cartography, photography, therapy, and communion.”
Below you’ll see one of Kacie’s favorite pieces, “S.A.D. Pows.”
“These ‘Pows’ are the color temperature of seasonal affective disorder lights – the therapeutic lights that help to counter the winter blues. Shown here seen through a diffraction lens which splits the color spectrum open to reveal the component wavelengths, the lights encase a secret rainbow.”
Support Kacie’s neon journey by following her Instagram at @kacielees and checking out her upcoming workshops and shows.
April 24: Transparent Mesh (Solo Exhibition) @ Sentral 755 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90014