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Steering our artists in the right direction

There’s no doubt that Lee Steer, owner of REDSEA Gallery, eats, sleeps and breathes art. As the owner of one of Brisbane’s most prestigious galleries, he represents artists from around the world – and says it is pretty much a 24/7 proposition.

MIFQ members and supporters will also know Lee as the curator of our Annual Art Exhibition, something he is more than happy to find time for.

“It was an honour to be asked to curate the MIFQ Art Exhibition,” says Lee.

“I love the MIFQ crew and intend to be involved well into the foreseeable future.”

When the Art Exhibition marks its 25th anniversary in 2016, Lee will be there for the fifth time, guiding the artists through the whole process and witnessing their joy on Opening Night as the sold stickers go on.

“The look of happiness on the artists’ faces when they sell a piece is fantastic,” says Lee.

“Art and art therapy are such significant ways to express yourself and to feel you are part of something.”

And Lee appreciates the “bigger picture” on many levels.

“Like most people, I have suffered from a form of depression and I’m happy to talk openly about it,” says Lee.

“My depression has been work-related. When you set up a business in a new country, on the other side of the world and in the middle of a Global Financial Crisis, it is bound to affect you,” he explains.

Lee was in New York City when the 911 tragedy occurred, and at only 16, he lived through the Hillsborough disaster - a stampede that took place at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England in 1989, which left 96 dead and 766 injured. Traumatic life events can casuse depression, and Lee can still remember the trauma that he encountered.

“Major life events like that can impact your life and I experienced many confronting moments at Hillsborough. It was horrific and back then you just went home and got a hug from your mum and dad.”

“It’s different now. There are much better ways of dealing with trauma, their is support available and high profile people are speaking out and helping to break the taboo.”

“It’s not only the stigma that is still associated with mental illness, but we are no closer to a fundamental cure.”

“I am interested in how science is moving toward finding the parts in the brain that cause issues, isolating them and then fixing them.”

In the meantime Lee is making sure his moral compass is pointed in a proactive direction.

“It’s about self-value - doing things that make you feel good, and for me that means helping others.”

stories lee