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Kerrie Lester

1953 – 2016

Kerrie Lester (1953–2016) was born in Sydney and studied there at the National Art School and the Alexander Mackie College between 1971 and 1975. She held her first solo exhibition in 1976 and, in addition, featured regularly in group exhibitions including the Wynne and Sulman Prizes and the Mosman Art Prize, which she won in 2011. Her bold and distinctive portraits, in which the outlines of the sitters are hand-stitched, were contenders for the Archibald Prize at least sixteen times and, from 1988 until her death in 2016, she figured in the Portia Geach Memorial Award shortlist nine times, her sitters including Phillip Noyce, Judy Cassab, Jeffrey Smart, Akira Isogawa, Jimmy Barnes, Margaret Fink and Trent Nathan. Her Self-portrait as a bridesmaid took out the Archibald’s Packing Room Prize in 1998. Her painting of athlete Cathy Freeman was among the first fifty works acquired for the National Portrait Gallery’s collection.

Updated 2018