Lee makes intimate quasi-photorealistic paintings on jute. Her subjects are sourced through extensive internet searches which Lee has described as a metaphorical road trip for observational painting. Working in series the resulting images that Lee lands on are often disparate; in Drop Ceiling a log cabin, gorilla skull, wire mesh fence, a city scape and lettuce leaves hover next to one another on a coequal plane. Despite the seemingly expansive possibilities in the Lee’s selection process and the resulting groupings there is the sense of a digital claustrophobia and banality captured here; for every image of a log cabin that exists we know there’s an endless stream of thumbnails proliferating countless others.
Once Lee has isolated the image from the digital realm a further transformation takes place through her meticulous painting process. The coarse, fibrous surface of the jute forces the image into a low resolution rendering. The work compels a closeness and when in front of each painting the inherent labour and endurance of constructing an image with oil on such a repellent, unforgiving surface is visible. We are left with an image in a molecular sense, the surface becoming multi-dimensional allowing us to feel with our eyes.