Born on the South Island’s wild West Coast, Lees initially trained in graphic design but soon found a more appropriate outlet for her talents at the then little known ‘Weta’ Workshop where she worked as an illustrator, creature designer and airbrush artist on 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy and other projects. She soon ventured out on her own, however, and for most of the last decade has worked solely on her own imaginative art and on commissioned portraiture which often incorporates trademark elements of her fantastical vision. 

Her art, mostly in oils, is characterised by its stunning naturalistic technique, honed during a year in Florence studying the methods of the old masters. The juxtaposition of realism and impossibility is what gives Lees’s fantasy its unique character. A blindfolded woman is borne through the sky by a cloud of blue butterflies, an angel rests on steps training her all-too-human expression of irritation on the viewer. A world of classical fairy tale is brought vividly to life on the canvas before us, sometimes sinister, sometimes idyllic and childlike, always surprising.

Lees’s work features in the periodical Spectrum – The best in contemporary fantastic art international, numbers 15, 16, 17 and  19, and White Cloud Worlds Volumes 1 & 2, an anthology of science fiction and fantasy artwork from Aotearoa New Zealand. Her work has also been featured in the publication 'Women of Wonder', along side 57 past and present female Fantastic Artists selected from around the world.

Lees's original works have been exhibited throughout New Zealand’s major non profit galleries and museums. Her work can be found in private collections within New Zealand and abroad. 

Lees currently lives and works in Wellington where her paintings are created amongst bustling family life. She is a wife and full time mother to two busy young children.


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