The best part about my job is the time I get to spend with people. From the quaint to the queer; the quiet to the down right extrovert, I count myself lucky. I get to meet all kinds of people, at many different moments on their journey.
What I can tell you from my time with Lee is that I wanted to be around him. We all did. He had a presence that picked you up and an extraordinary enthusiasm that made you feel elated. He was unbelievably ambitious too, despite being just in the dawn of his career. Lee grabbed opportunity and he held people up; there is no doubt, in my mind, that he was destined to create great things.
Lees’ joy filled Make right to the rafters. You could hear those in his company because they were probably laughing, or singing. He was a master of the funny face and always had perfect timing. We often caught him skateboarding across the warehouse, even though he wasn’t supposed to, but you just couldn’t stay mad at Lee! So as you can understand that since last year Make has felt a little less like a joyous skatepark. Our collective joy doesn’t quite reach to the rafters anymore. Since then, things have been a little more muted.
We all respond to tragedy in different ways and our eclectic community has been no different; some of us quietly reflected, some told their stories, listened and laughed, and others found a reason to get back to work with purpose at heart. But we all shared an ambivalent state, stuck somewhere between the love people felt for him and the sorrow that he was gone.
We’ll never forget Lee, and we never want to. And born out of that desire is the Lee Kent legacy. It means that a little bit of him will always be around and it will be shaped by our memory of him. It will push the person to seize the day, as he did, and build their confidence in their abilities.
The Legacy will give the opportunity for a budding graduate to have 12 months (and beyond) in a bustling creative industry surrounded by talented people to support them in their own path. It will include mentoring and public moments, and will see the graduate resident supported in a way that ensures the residency is the most fulfilling it can be.
So much can change in a year, and he wouldn’t believe it if we told him, but had he been on the journey that is 2020, he would’ve checked in with each and every one of us, gave us a socially distanced dance and said enjoy the ride!