Joy Hester

My avatar is the painting ‘Little Girl With Book on Head’ (1957) by the magnificent Joy Hester. I see Joy Hester (1920-1960) as one of the most important Australian artists of all time. Her expressionist paintings have enduring significance on modern-day Australian art. She was avant-garde, an intelligent and opinionated artist, and the only woman member of the counter-cultural Angry Penguins, a group of artists and activists who lived, worked and published their political views at Heidi (my favourite place in the world). Hester’s work was influential to other, more widely-known Australian painters such as her ex-husband Albert Tucker, Charles Blackman and Arthur Boyd. Her expressionist art portrays a whimsical but evocative insight into a complex femininity at a time when women painters were not provided many opportunities. She was an inspiration to me in high school and she continues to inspire my sociological imagination to this day.

Credits:

1. National Gallery of Australia (NGA)

2. NGA

3. NGA

4. NGA

5. Joy Hester photographed by Albert Tucker in 1939. State Library of Victoria.