Lee Karen Stow was born in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, UK in 1966. She grew up on the Greatfield Estate in the east of the city.
She began her career in 1989 as a freelance journalist and features writer, winning the Prince’s Youth Trust/Reader’s Digest regional winner for Humberside. She joined the Hull Daily Mail as features writer for five years. In 1995 she returned to freelancing, writing and photographing for national newspapers, magazines and books. Travelling to more than 60 countries she has documented people and places for The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Scotsman, The Express on Sunday, CNN Traveler, BBC In Pictures, AA Publishing/Frommer’s, Geographical.
In 2007 she visited Freetown in Sierra Leone and returned several times. Since then she has devoted her photographic practice to recording the personal narratives of women survivors of war and conflict, from the First and Second World Wars, the Holocaust, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Cambodia, Vietnam, Palestinian Occupied Territories, Israel, and in the US and the UK women forced to flee the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Guatemala, Iraq, Syria … and so on.
Her work has exhibited at the UN Headquarters New York; The Senedd: Welsh National Assembly; Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, USA; International Slavery Museum, Liverpool; University of Cambridge; Royal Commonwealth Club, London; Horniman Museum, London; University of Cambridge; Museum of Liverpool; York Army Museum. Her first installation TORN appeared at Hull UK City of Culture 2017.
In 2012 she was awarded an Honorary Degree by the University of Hull, and was made Honorary Research Fellow at WISE (Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation) University of Hull. She is completing an MA Journalism by Research at Lincoln University’s School of Journalism. Two images are held in the New Hall Art Collection, University of Cambridge.