Adam Lee – For Signs, For Season, and For Days and For Years

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Monday 18th July 2011

Original Camouflage by Adam Lee, 2010. 231cm – 165cm.

Our Pregnant Condition (Lacuna) by Adam Lee, 2010.  230cm x 180cm.

I received a sweet and very entertaining email a few weeks ago from a loyal TDF reader named Laurine Lee.  Laurine is married to Melbourne artist Adam Lee.  Her email went a little like this –

“Well Lucy let me say first, grab a cuppa. You could be here a while!  I’m going to go with point form to cut a long story short.

So it’s 8:15pm somewhere around February 2010, and I get a text from my friend Rachel saying: ‘Adam’s artwork is on the Design Files!!!!!’

Adam would be my artist husband.

The Design Files would be the thing I click on after The Age, before I log in to work every morning.

So I got all excited (and a touch confused) and jumped online.

I see your article featuring a local Melbourne Home.  I look through the images and see ‘Artwork by Adam Lee’ and my heart sinks a little – it wasn’t my Adam at all.

Adam asks to have a look, and I pass him the laptop, and instantly see the blood drain from his face. ‘That’s me’.

I say “NO….”

He says “yes…” and proceeds to tell me that the painting in question was created many years ago, as a gift for a high school best friend!

I couldn’t help but chuckle… and then sympathise... and then chuckle a little more, that the one time my dear sweet husband is on The Design Files, it’s with a painting made in his first year at art school!

So here I am, requesting that you look at the 32 year old Adam Lee… and what he is making right now… What a difference 13 years makes.”

I won’t link to Adam’s FIRST appearance on TDF – because it seems Adam and Laurine would much rather share his latest work – and I don’t blame them.  It’s INCREDIBLE!   I’m so grateful that Laurine took the time to share this sweet anecdote with me and introduce Adam’s amazing work!  There is something really haunting about these supernatural landscapes and characters… and many of the works are enormous! (scroll down to see a portrait of Adam with his work which gives a sense of scale!).

I took this opportune moment to ask Adam a few questions about his recent paintings! –

What has inspired the works for your current exhibition?

The works are from a series I’ve been working on for over a year called ‘Original Camouflage’. The ideas behind the works originally came out of reading the Garden of Eden story, where the first man and woman become aware of their imperfect state and make garments of leaves to camouflage themselves. I’ve been really interested in looking at this idea of the ways we try to blend into the environments around us. But the works are also about our connection with the natural world.

Where do you work and live?

I live in the Macedon Ranges with my beautiful wife and our Cocker Spaniel, Harper Lee, about 40 mins north west of Melbourne. We kind of live in the bush, on a ten acre block with lots of trees and wildlife. My studio is an old horse stables we converted on my parents 250acre property, just up the road from where we live. It’s such an amazing environment to make work, a place which helps give me the space to try and get my head around what it is I’m trying to do.

What’s next for you after the show at Motorworks?

I currently have a piece in the Churchie Emerging Artist Award at Griffith University in Brisbane, and later this year will take part in the 2011 RBS Emerging Artist Award in Sydney. I’m also halfway through doing my PhD at RMIT.  I think I’ll just keep pushing on making new work, as there always seems to be more ideas and points of interest for me to explore.

Adam is having a solo show which opens TODAY!  All details below.. if you like what you see here do consider popping in to view these incredible works in person.

For Signs, For Season, and For Days and For Years
An exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Adam Lee

July 18th – August 3rd 2011.

Motorworks Gallery
39 -41 Arnold st, South Yarra

Open Monday – Friday, 9.00am – 5.00pm
ph. 03 9865 7630

Adam in his studio, Original Camouflage painting in the background.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Monday 18th July 2011


  • Dyani 5 years ago

    What a great little story – and amazing artwork! Will definitely be paying a visit to Motorworks gallery to see Adam’s work up close :)

  • Letitia 5 years ago

    Gorgeous provocative artwork with such a beautiful colour palette! Love the work, and the story behind the post, I will also have to go see the exhibition!

  • Louise 5 years ago

    Such beautiful work! Loved the letter his wife sent in too. We have an Adam Lee painting in our living room and it is one of our prized possessions. We will be going on Thursday evening to the shows opening night.

  • chrissie 5 years ago

    Wow. Thank you Lucy for introducing me to another wonderful artist I would never have heard of if it hadn’t been for the serendipitous connection of your blog, a phone call and a wife with a great letter writing style. Will certainly visit the exhibition. The work looks amazingly wonderful. Adam is a lucky man. And talented.

  • Laurine Lee 5 years ago

    good work Lucy! Thanks for including the email! I nearly died…. but all well now. :)

  • Marius 5 years ago

    Fresh! Love the colors and the atmosphere in the artworks. Will be checking it out for sure.

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