Jenna Lee
  • Jenna Lee, 'Archive of an Invasive Native', 2020, digital image. Courtesy of the artist.


Jenna Lee

Archive of an Invasive Native

10 August–11 October 202010 Aug–11 Oct 2020

IMA Belltower at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts


Multidisciplinary artist, Jenna Lee’s practice explores the act of identification and labelling, and the relationship between language and object. Lee is a mixed Larrakia, Wardaman, and Karajarri woman who is currently living and working between Brisbane and the United Kingdom. While in the UK she has been exploring museum and archival collections, uncovering hidden artefacts and objects and revealing the stories of her ancestors embodied within this cultural material.

This projection work, developed in collaboration with Sai Karlen, is part of an ongoing response to a collection of Australian native gum trees in the Kew Gardens, London. Far removed from their country, Lee finds comfort in the plants’ ability to thrive in a hostile environment, drawing parallels with her own separation from home.

Curated By
  • Freja Carmichael
Artist Bio
Jenna Lee

Jenna Lee lives and works between Brisbane and London. She is a Larrakia, Wardaman, and Karajarri woman and identifies as a queer, mixed race, Asian, Aboriginal woman. Through her art, Lee explores language, labels, and objects, examining how they intersect to create or challenge the concept of identity. Her practice spans curation, creative design, art making, and production. Formally trained as a graphic designer, her work has become a key part of Queensland’s visual identity through her engagements with Gillimbaa Creative Agency. In 2019, Lee was the recipient of the Australia Council Young and Emerging Dreaming Award. She has also been a finalist in the John Fries Award (2019), the 35th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (2018) and the Blacktown Art Prize (2018). In 2018, Lee won the tertiary category in the Libris Artist Book Prize. She holds a Bachelor of Visual Communication Design and a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Queensland.

Curator Bio

Freja Carmichael is a Ngugi woman and curator belonging to the Quandamooka People of Moreton Bay. She works broadly across the cultural sector with artists and communities on projects with a focus on collaborative curatorial approaches and the promotion and preservation of First Nations fibre knowledge. Carmichael recently curated Weaving the Way, The University of Queensland Art Museum (2019), Seeing Country, Redland Art Gallery (2019) and Around and within, Macquarie Group Collection space gallery (2018) and was a co-curator of The Commute, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2018) and its follow on iterations as The Layover, Artspace Aotearoa (2019) and Transits and Returns, Vancouver Art Gallery (2020). Currently, Freja is curator IMA Belltower at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts and also works as an independent curator, writer and arts worker.

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands where the IMA now stands. We pay our respect to Elders past, present, and emerging.