Lee studied at the Brighton Polytechnic (1982–3), St Martin's School of Art (1983–6) and the Royal College of Art (1986–8). Just a year after graduation, she received the prestigious John Moore painting prize. During her life she exhibited extensively at important institutions, including the Whitechapel Gallery, London; the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; and Kettle's Yard, Cambridge. Sadly, her death from cancer in 2009, aged only 52, cut short a burgeoning career. Her work is held in various public collections, including The New Hall Art Collection, University of Cambridge; Victoria Gallery and Museum, University of Liverpool; Maclaurin Art Gallery, Scotland; and the Contemporary Art Society, London, amongst others.