A pioneer of Australian style and internationally acclaimed artist and designer, Jenny Kee's vibrant art and design reflects her passion for the unique and precious Australian environment.
Born in Bondi, Sydney, in 1947 to a Chinese father and an English/Italian mother, Jenny Kee grew up by sparkling blue sea and came of age in the day-glo colours of the 1960's. She worked with style guru and vintage trailblazer Vern Lambert at London's Chelsea Antique Market…“my university of fashion and life.” Upon returning to Australia in 1973, she opened her famous frock salon Flamingo Park in Sydney's Strand Arcade & together with designer Linda Jackson, created an Australian identity in fashion. Their ‘Flamingo Follies’ shows from 1974 – 1981 became legendary events.
Over 40 years, Jenny's work has appeared on silk, on paper, on wool, on cotton, on ceramics and on canvas. Her creativity has been 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. Jenny's distinctive style has evolved, steeped in a passion for nature, to reflect a “strong, spontaneous, bold and optimistic” Australia.
Her designs are world renowned, exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW, the Australian National Gallery, London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, the Marimura Museum in Tokyo and Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum. The Powerhouse Museum has a extensive archive, highlighting decades of Kee’s design career.
Jenny's work has been featured in international magazines from Italian Vogue to New York's Women's Wear Daily. Her Opal designs were used by Chanel in Paris and her Koala knits worn by Diana, Princess of Wales.
She has received numerous commissions, including works for Parliament House in Canberra, the Australian Bicentenary and her breathtaking parade of costumes for the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
In 2005 Jenny shifted her focus inwards, writing her autobiography from her home in the Blue Mountains wilderness. 'A Big Life' was published by Penguin Australia in October 2006.
In 2008, she launched Target's “Designers for Target” series with an exclusive range of Jenny Kee homewares.
In 2012, Jenny Kee presented a 40 year retrospective of her designs—and unveiled her newest venture, Art of the Scarf. A square of silk is the canvas on which she splashes the rich and vibrant colours of her deep love affair with the land. Jenny Kee's timeless design has always been enriched by living close to nature.“I really cherish this earth,” she says.“ It is behind everything I do!”
In 2013 Jenny Kee received a Prix de Marie Claire award for Special Achievement alongside Linda Jackson for their contribution to Australian fashion. In June 2013 she went on to be awarded The Australian Fashion Laureate by the New South Wales government and IMG Fashion, an honour which recognises outstanding creative or intellectual achievement in the Australian fashion industry.
In October 2013 Kee was inducted into the Design Institute of Australia ‘Hall of Fame’.
In April 2015 Kee launches A New Beginning Knitwear Collection in collaboration with the Woolmark Company.
In March 2016 Kee features in 200 years of Australian Fashion Exhibition at National Gallery of Victoria.