Richard Slee was born in Carlisle, Cumbria, in 1946. He studied at Carlisle College of Art and Design (1964-65), the Central School of Art and Design (1965-70) and at the Royal College of Art (1986-88). Slee lives and works in London.
Selected group and solo shows include: Studio Voltaire, UK; Object Gallery, Australia; Hales Gallery, London; National Museum, Sweden; Victoria & Albert Museum, UK; World Ceramic Centre, Korea and The West Norway Museum of Decorative Art, Norway. His work was included in the well-received show, Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990 (2011-12), Victoria & Albert, London. Slee's work is represented in numerous collections world-wide, including British Council, UK; Corcoran Museum of Art, New York; Washington Museum of Art and Design, US and Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
Following his large sculptural commission at Cass Sculpture Foundation, Cold Frames (2000), Slee was awarded The Jerwood Applied Arts Prize for his contribution to contemporary ceramics.
Richard Slee's ceramics are large, bold and colourful. His early pieces, more sculptural than functional, took the form of massive bulging buds, cornucopias and oversized vessels. Robust modelling was softened by colourful glazes in the hues associated with decorative porcelain of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Fully three-dimensional, his glazed earthenware also embraced animal forms, vessels and objects based on imagery found in places as diverse as souvenir shops and Habitat. His recent ceramics have also combined printed images in colours derived from iMac screens. Slee incorporates the most eclectic range of imagery into his ceramics, except the human figure. His work is concerned with the things that occupy us in the widest sense, from the everyday to the fantastical, rather than with the human condition.