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Artist Biography

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Robert Lee-Wade RUA


Robert Lee-Wade was born in Cambridge in 1944, and studied Fine Arts at Canterbury and Folkestone Colleges of Art, followed by further studies at Newport Film School, Wales.


A period of four years in the film business followed, making advertising commercials, television dramas (late night thrillers!) and documentaries. A move to Northern Ireland in 1972 started him painting again, as well as working with Ulster Television to help make the Gordon Burns Hour, a live twenty-two programme late-night chat show. Later, he accepted an invitation to head the new art department at Campbell College, where he worked for twenty years, leaving to pursue full-time painting in 1995. Robert moved back to England in 2006, where he lived in Bath and Amberley, Gloucestershire, until 2014, and now lives in Topsham, Devon.


Robert has exhibited in many solo and group shows both in the UK and the USA, including the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin and annually with the Royal Ulster Academy, of which he became an academician in 2003 and was formerly vice president. His work has been purchased by a number of public institutions and private companies in Northern Ireland, including the Ulster Museum and the Stormont Government Buildings. Many of his paintings have been purchased by art lovers both at home and abroad, and are now found in private collections worldwide, in countries which include Switzerland, France, Italy, Canada, America and Australia.


He has continued his tuition both privately, notably for painting courses in Morocco, co-run with Colin Watson RUA, and for the Open College of the Arts, and has made frequent trips on cruise ships as artist-in-residence. Robert uses his travels to seek new inspiration for his painting, and shares that inspiration with others through his teaching, lecture presentations and, of course, through his art.


‘Cradles of civilisation like Italy, Turkey and Greece reveal wonderful creations of the human hand and heart. In all of these places, one can only stand and marvel at their creators, yet hope that in some small way one's own efforts to recreate that sense, will be a fitting tribute.’ (‘Voyages’ exhibition: Gormley’s Gallery, Belfast 2006)


His exhibitions include:

Queens University, Belfast                                        The Oriel Gallery, Dublin

Yeat’s Memorial Gallery, Sligo                                 Orla Celtic Art, New York

Red Rag Gallery, Stow-on-the-Wold                       Caldwell Gallery, Belfast

Mistral Gallery, Dover Street, London                      Mall Galleries, London

Brownstone Gallery, Modbury, Devon                     Walker Galleries, Harrogate



Arts Council Travel Awards, to New York & Philadelphia, 1992 & 2002

National Self-Portrait Collection, Limerick, Ireland 1996