Charlie Lee-Potter

Charlie Lee-Potter

Holding It In, Letting It Out


Recycled bottles, wool, paper, bookbinder’s frame

The work is a materialised conversation between marginalised fictional women: Lucy from Charlotte Brontë’s novel Villette and Maggie from George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss. Eliot repeatedly references the vigour of Maggie’s hair, judged inappropriate in a woman. Maggie’s father recommends it be ‘thinned’ but, in a fit of defiance, Maggie slashes it herself. The paper artwork fights the constraints of a bookbinder’s frame. 

The companion piece, a 4-metre carpet, is knotted with a complete copy of Villette, Brontë’s portrait of introverted, isolated Lucy. The text, printed on recycled milk bottles, pours out and embodies the three Brontë sisters’ unique method of summoning their creativity: by walking around their dining-room table together. When Emily and Anne died of TB within five months of each other, Charlotte completed her portrait of Lucy by walking alone.