This exhibition brings together a body of new works created by Cairns-based artist, Grace Lillian Lee. Vivid colours and striking sculptural forms explore how contemporary fashion and performance intersect with traditional artistic and cultural practices to create a new cultural dialogue. Lee is a descendant of the Doolah family from Darnley Island and her parents come from multicultural backgrounds including Torres Strait Islander, Chinese, English, German and Danish. At an early age Lee was interested in making clothes, which later led her to study fashion at RMIT. Lee’s work has since been represented at major fashion shows and cultural events, including the most recent 2016 Melbourne Fashion Week. In 2010 Lee worked closely with Uncle Ken Thaiday Snr who taught her many of the techniques used to create adornments used for ceremonial purposes in the Torres Straits. In this exhibition, Lee draws inspiration from these techniques and further extends them to create body sculptures.
Lee enjoys working collaboratively with different First Nation communities in order to explore new techniques while sharing stories and passing on knowledge that reconnects her to her culture. Specifically for this exhibition, Lee worked with acclaimed artist/photographer, Greg Semu whose dramatic photos of her body sculptures are an exciting extension of her current arts practice.
The Cairns Art Gallery acknowledges the Gimuy Walubarra Yidinji and Yirrganydji as the Traditional Owners of the area today known as Cairns. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, names or voices of deceased persons in photographs, film or text.