Vicki Lee: The Art Of Living

Sleep Dreams: the artist and mother-to-be, Vicki Lee, at home in Sydney, with linen from her new online store, The Twenty Two. Lee wears Bassike. Below, in the studio surrounded by her hyper-coloured works.

the sydney-based artist and mother-to-be, vicki lee, brings her compelling style and intriguing mind to her latest venture – a new site based on the purity of all things small, essential and artisanal

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  2. Photographs Ted O'Donnell  |  Interview Natasha Inchley
  3. Hair & Makeup Jaclyn Hnitko
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  5. Creatively, one theme you keep returning to is …

  6. Prana vayu in Ayurveda and Chi in Chinese tradition – the movement of this force and how it manifests differently in people, nature and every living thing. I'm obsessed with the moment of impact of force. Whether it be when the paint hits the canvas or the highest point a ball will go when thrown into the air; the maximum point just before the force depreciates. This also happens to be when every colour known sprays in one elaborate scene. The idea that perfection can not be reached until it is demolished or in a state of completion fascinates me.

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  2. Your new site, The Twenty Two, captures the beauty of simplicity: how did it come about?

  3. I really believe the best meal you can make is with the least amount of ingredients – good olive oil, salt and fresh organic basil beats a special fried rice any day. Simplicity allows true beauty to be seen – Picasso’s best work is charcoaled with one line; and I think a beautiful woman’s style shines through when she's wearing a white T-shirt more obviously than an elaborate dress with intricate details. My sister and I started The Twenty Two to represent this space. We want to offer the best design and price for essential items and help strip the home of excess and clutter.
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  5. You share a wonderful creative rapport with your partner, Ted o'donnell – what makes it work?

  6. We have this joke that there is a fire that we make together. He is the earthy log that sits at the base of the fire and keeps it burning through to the next morning, and I am the leaves and twigs that get the fire started but burn fast and need to be stimulated regularly. Ted is amazingly patient and thorough. He has the most insane eye for detail and his level of perfection is almost annoying. Together we create a strong tempo.

Life In Colour: above, the collaborative work of Lee and O'Donnell.

TELL US ABOUT THE INSPIRATION behind YOUR UPCOMING EXHIBITION:

  1. Ted and I have been been connected creatively from day one. The rainbow chard spinach we met and bonded over in the organic fruit store three years ago is a perfect example – that day, we conjured a recipe that we promised to make when we saw each other again. So one specific thing didn't inspire us, its more a continuous flow. We found ourselves in a darker place than our last two series and realised we both have it in us to go there. I was particularly inspired by the Robert Browning poem, Porphyria’s Lover, which I've loved since I was a teenager. It encapsulates so perfectly what it means to lust, obsess and tip over into the dark side with the inability to return thereafter. Flowers, for us, are the most obvious forms of nature's sexiest and most alluring features.
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  3. YOUR LIFE IS ALSO IN FULL BLOOM – WITH THE BIRTH OF YOUR FIRST CHILD JUST THREE MONTHS AWAY, HOW HAS YOUR STYLE CHANGED?
  4. I wear anything that fits these days – Ted's wardrobe has never looked so good. I've been looking at my old pants and wondering how I ever fit into them before, they look like children's clothes. I'm focusing on sunglasses and shoes and keeping it oversized. I find the most important thing about any outfit, especially pregnancy outfits, is the fabric and how the garment sits on the body in terms of texture and cut. 
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  6. AND HOW HAVE YOU PAMPERED YOURSELF THROUGHOUT YOUR PREGNANCY?
  7. Being pregnant has given me the greatest excuse to add massage, my usual indulgence, to my essential list. Knowing that I'm looking after someone else inside me has changed the desire for indulgence. Usually, I would end my week with the most amazing Grey Goose martini and a night in my painting studio with new oils and new colours. These days, I feel so calm and content my need for excess has receded.

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  2. Lee's daily uniform: A black or white T-shirt. Fragrance: Comme Des Garçons White. Manicure: Essie nail lacquer in Strawberry Shortcake, because when I get paint all over them it looks like a rainbow. Latest read: Deepak Chopra's Magical Beginnings. Enchanted LivesSecret pick-me-up: during pregnancy, it's Shavasana any time of the day. Before then, it was a glass of Oban Whiskey. Favourite film: the Jean-Marc Vallée directed, Cafe De Flore

Lunch Is Served: above, a selection of platters and servers from The Twenty Two. Salad days: below, Lee's smoked mackerel salad with shredded beetroot, carrot, cucumber, watercress, shredded kohlrabi, roasted pine nuts, arame seaweed and fresh chopped herbs, including coriander, parsley and Thai basil, from the couple's garden. For the dressing, Lee adds tahini, olive oil, Himalayan rock salt, lemon and apple cider vinegar. Side dishes include homemade sauerkraut and hemp seeds with cayenne pepper.

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Visit Lee's new site thetwentytwo.com.au

Shop the look(4 items)

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Desu 16-pc Dinner Set

The Twenty Two — $69

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Glass Terrarium

The Twenty Two — $49

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Resin 9-stick Candle Holder

The Twenty Two — $98

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Flax Jug

The Twenty Two — $45

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