Karen Lee


Born in Darlinghurst,Sydney, lives & works in Glenmore Park,NSW,Australia.

The term ‘Artist’ is somewhat ambiguous, the definition being a person who paints and draws but I don’t feel that this is all I am. How I see, think and feel about the world around me I know is different from others. We look and we see and it is this idea of the ‘seeing’ is what intrigues me .Little nuances of colour, pattern and texture, in the way people move around, their expressions, the culmination of everything that sits in a space or environment telling a story.

It is the story telling that absorbs me into the imaginative process of creating a narrative using visual cues of colour, pattern and forms to evoke the viewers’ response. The concepts of memory, its remnants and traces embedded on strings plucked randomly and then becoming a melodic rhythm that we respond to with an emotion .Not only does memory sit within ourselves but also in the spaces and environments we occupy. There are triggers everywhere impulsively appearing, enveloping us .We might smile at the thought or feel a heavy emotional sadness, or excitement.

I am always thinking, I actually feel lost when I have nothing to think about, LoL. Visualising a new idea, an anticipation to paint and see what transforms… plenty of unsuccessful experiments, but occasionally these lead to triumphs. I am still learning, endeavoring to find the language in the strokes of my brush that in them create the tracks and traces of past but are inherently connected to now and the future.

Although I do at times paint more traditional works that reflect my Indigenous culture I believe it is important to tell a contemporary narrative that reflects my experience as an Aboriginal woman in an urban society. The visual styles together hold ambiguous reflections of the stories I have been told, the culture that has been diluted and the wanting to celebrate the essence of Indigenous culture, the connection to land and to each other.

My artwork may speak to you, revealing an emotion, or story very different to mine but that is what I believe art is….it is whatever we want it to be.
2020 has been an exciting year for my art practice, full of opportunities and I am grateful to be able to now say this is my full time profession. I don’t know what lays ahead, I am constantly surprised and humbled to have an audience that has found some connection to my work enough for them to want keep a piece for their own. I say thank you to each of them.