Little girl with book on head
Little girl with book on head

Joy Hester

1920 - 1960 Little girl with book on head 1957
  • enamel and watercolour on card
62 cm x 99 cm

'Hester's subject was the human face as metaphor for the human condition and she fearlessly pictured emotional extremes: alienation, terror, loneliness, madness, the ecstasies and the perils of love. Typically, Hester's art is raw, complex and challenging. Aside from her friends, Hester found no appreciative audience during her lifetime. Sunday Reed, in particular, was her warmest and most consistent admirer. Reed bought Hester's work, encouraged her to produce more, and supported her financially.

Hester was a beautiful, exuberant and unconventional woman whose short life was marked by battles with illness and poverty. Born in 1920, Hester died at 40 after contracting Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymph glands, but she managed to produce an oeuvre of several hundred drawings, some oil paintings and around one hundred poems.'

Source: Janine Burke, Joy Hester, Australian Art Collector, Issue 17, July-September 2001

© Joy Hester/Copyright Agency, 2018

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The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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