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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Kerry Lester, 1990

Anne Zahalka

direct positive colour photograph

Kerrie Lester (1953-2016) became well-known as a portraitist as her playful, textured, highly-coloured works appeared regularly in the Archibald and Portia Geach exhibitions of the late 1980s and the 1990s. In 1998 her wry Archibald entry Self-Portrait as a Bridesmaid won the $500 Packing Room Prize, selected by the team who receive, receipt and process works entered in the competition. Lester's portrait of athlete Cathy Freeman, commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, was completed in 1999. The art historian Gavin Fry has suggested that 'the appeal of Kerrie Lester's work lies in the way it embodies both the serious and the whimsical, the fleeting and the solid, the wry smile with instant recognition of our own weaknesses and excesses.'

Anne Zahalka studied at East Sydney Technical College and Sydney College of the Arts. Since the beginning of the 1980s she has participated in group exhibitions in Australia and Germany. Her solo exhibitions since 1986 include the touring shows Leisureland (1999-2001) and Woven Threads (1997-1998). Zahalka has been awarded many arts grants and residencies, including a Fellowship from the Australia Council Visual Arts/Craft Board (2000) and four separate grants from the same body. Her work, which has been extensively reviewed, is held in the National Gallery of Australia, major state and regional galleries, university collections and the National Art Gallery of New Zealand. In 1990, she photographed a number of Australian women artists for a portfolio organised by art dealer Leo Christie. Each woman is photographed in her own milieu and style.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Leo Christie 2003
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Anne Zahalka/Copyright Agency, 2020

Accession number: 2003.13.9

Currently on display: Gallery Five (John Schaeffer Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Anne Zahalka (age 33 in 1990)

Kerrie Lester (age 37 in 1990)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Leo Christie (10 portraits)

Related information

Kerry Lester, 1990 Anne Zahalka
Kerry Lester, 1990 Anne Zahalka
Kerry Lester, 1990 Anne Zahalka
Kerry Lester, 1990 Anne Zahalka

Virtual collection tour

This is my place: studio

Tue 13 Oct
12:30pm

A veritable treasure trove of extraordinary artists and their creative spaces.

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

The cook (Michael Schmidt/architect), 1987
The cook (Michael Schmidt/architect), 1987
The cook (Michael Schmidt/architect), 1987
The cook (Michael Schmidt/architect), 1987

Hall of mirrors

Magazine article by Naomi Cass, 2007

Naomi Cass, Director of the Centre of Contemporary Photography, in conversation with Anne Zahalka.

Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner

Portraits for Posterity

Previous exhibition, 2006

Drawn from some of the many donations made to the Gallery's collection, the exhibition Portraits for Posterity pays homage both to the remarkable (and varied) group of Australians who are portrayed in the portraits and the generosity of the many donors who have presented them to the Gallery.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.