Art and business have always made interesting bedfellows – even though both are essentially about creating.

One is about unbridled freedom and the other is heavy with the burden of commerce.

Artist Vicki Lee’s history has spanned both sides of the coin. Initially as founder of cult label myPetsQaure and raising it to levels of fetish levels of desirability amongst Australia’s fashion set.

Most recently, garnering critical acclaim for her work as an artist (sometimes alongside her photographer partner Ted O’Donnell) – her mixed medium works are recognised by her drippings of colour and ultra glossy pigments.

Her art is all about atmosphere and you’d be hard up not to lose a few minutes just soaking in the emotions.

It’s an effect she has successfully replicated on her new endeavour TheTwentyTwo. A minimalist but heavily curated selection of homewares invoke a more simplified energy.

Spending a few minutes reviewing the collection is very much a retreat into a world where the pace has slowed down and the good things take time.

There is still a great deal of Vicki’s artistic slant in the DNA. Following her on Instagram @thetwentytwo_ will serve up an education in surrealist and modern art.

VICKI: “Anyone who understands the beauty and abundance of simplicity will love TheTwentyTwo. Is there anything louder than complete silence?”

It’s this balance between sentiment and trade that fares well for her. After all, a true artist never really stops creating – even in business.[/vc_column_text]

VICKI: “When it comes to art or business, knowing that I am not the driver always helps! I always get a sense that I am following something; a scent, a mysterious energy, a rhythm even. And as I follow, I am uncovering something different every time.
It’s shiny and new to me but no doubt has been alive and beating to its own ancient pulse the whole time. In short, curiosity keeps me there.
That and a bit of residual teenage angst!”

“What interests me, and what has always interested me, is the mysterious, fluid, infinite space between living and dreaming. The vedic world calls it “ritam”, Jung would call it your consciousness. To me it has a smell, a tempo and a truth. My mission is to communicate my version of this space I guess.”

“The most creative space for my boyfriend (photographer) Ted O’Donnell and I, is the kitchen. The best dishes we create are always made of beautiful colours and the perfectly felt out portions of a few simple, quality ingredients. Always cook in the right mood. The same rules apply for my painting. It’s either ON or it isn’t.

I paint over almost every painting I do with a shiny white enamel paint. It’s a really cheesy kind of cathartic release.

Like the feeling when you were a kid and you would spend hours building the ultimate sand castle and all the while knowing you were going to knock it down with one blow. There’s such a freedom in a disposable space.”

The ones I end up keeping are the ones that remind me of a damn good feeling (even if it’s a bad feeling).

Those and the huge ugly ones that scream such a loud grossness. I love grossness.”

“To be completely honest, when I complete a piece, I often feel nervous, unsettled and empty. It is quite twisted but that’s how I know I’ve had a good session. This feeling always passes of course”

“I moved into this house 8 years ago. Many phases, hairstyles and chapters have been passed here. It has been designed as if it is sitting in a huge tree. I named the tree Augustus. He is magnificent.”

“I look for homewares the same way I’m drawn to certain people.

The ones where you cant quite explain why they are beautiful and charming. It is in the form or the colour or maybe not even that. It’s just amazing and that’s that.”

What are 3 things you’ve learned and know to be true?

1. “Everything passes in the end (and often comes back full circle) and then passes once more.”

2. “The choices you make for your life determine how its going to look, feel, smell, taste and sound. And we all experience it differently, which excites me to no end, knowing that you see something different to what I see.”

3. “There’s only one truth of human existence we can 100% vouch for. Everyone will die at some point. So don’t even worry about whatever you think you’re worried about and do things that make you feel good. It’s the simple rule I’ll live and die by.”

You can follow Vicki at @vickileelee & @thetwentytwo_

Meg & Dom

Tags: Artists, Interiors, Sydney

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