A pioneer of Australian style, Jenny Kee’s internationally renowned art reflects her passion for the unique and precious Australian environment. Over 40 years, Jenny’s work has appeared on silk, paper, wool, cotton, ceramics and canvas, shaped by an eclectic mix of global influences, from Aboriginal Australian to early European, and the exotic arts of Africa, India, Asia and South America. With a passionately joyous and distinctly Australian approach to her craft Jenny has always worked within the fashion world from an artistic mindset. Drawing on her love of Australian fauna and flora, her art is a mix of vivaciously hand-painted chaotic collages – flowers, animals, exotic birds, opals and tropical fish.
Red is a trademark of her career and the Waratah she sees as her totem. Telopea means ‘seen from afar’ and speciosissima means ‘most beautiful’ which perfectly describes the Waratah as it stands out in the bush against all the smaller more delicate native flowers. Like the Waratahs Jenny’s paintings make an intense statement and proclaim their existence.
‘I want to share my passion for the Waratah: the flower that has become my totem, the symbol of my fiery emotions. I live surrounded by native bush land that is frequently ravaged by fires. After fire, Waratahs are like flames exploding into bloom from their bed of ashes, big crimson hearts opening to the sun. I am always astonished that such beauty can spring from such devastation. I see Waratahs as the essence of fire – from the destruction comes rebirth. From personal tragedy I have been reborn through creating art – transforming pain into joyous beauty – that is the Waratah.’ Jenny Kee.
The silk scarf is Jenny’s way of allowing art to be worn on the body, favoured for the material’s fluidity, movement and grace. Influenced by Australian Indigenous art, tribal cultures and symbols, for Jenny each print shares a personal narrative. Interlinking these symbols and images across various mediums – oil crayons, acrylic, watercolours and Asian inks – one scarf can be constructed from twenty original artworks, all from the hand of Jenny Kee.