Grace Lillian Lee is a multicultural Australian artist known for drawing inspiration from her indigenous heritage. Through collaborations with Australian indigenous communities and their art centers she has created a platform for cultural expression and celebration by way of fashion performances. These are instrumental in engaging young people from remote communities and providing an opportunity for them to represent and be proud of their culture and country through fashion and performance.
Working with these members of community inspired Grace to further her work by travelling to indigenous communities to encourage creative expression and mentor young people as well as collaborate with artists and art centers. Her aim is to guide members towards developing their art into textiles and adornment in a contemporary way while orchestrating the sharing of artistic culture between generations. This is instrumental in the preservation and celebrations of traditional techniques and creatives.
Among these communities is Mornington Island. As a result of an ongoing collaboration with Grace, the art center has been able to start a small fashion business titled MiArt Designs, known for its hand-painted one of a kind bags.
Along with Grace’s involvement with indigenous communities she is also a practicing artist. She uses fashion and adornment to represent her own diverse cultural heritage. She has become known for her wearable interpretations of traditional Torres Strait Island weaving techniques that take the form of body sculptures and accessories. By bringing such techniques into the contexts of both art and fashion Grace has engaged a wide audience allowing her to develop a successful business based on woven accessories, celebrating and exploring her lineage. Grace’s creations have exhibited at The National Gallery of Victoria, the Jam Factory, Adelaide and Cairns Regional Gallery. Her work has been acquired by the South Australian Museum, National Gallery of Victoria, Cairns Regional Gallery, Australian Institute of Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Studies and Kluge Ruhe Collection at the University of Virginia, and with current interest from National Gallery Australia.
Grace was recently offered a position to complete a Doctorate in Creative Industries focusing on fashion and culture at Queensland University Technology and invited to present her first TEDx talk at James Cook University in 2017.