Ballerina inspires portrait finalist

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on August 28, 2020

A TORBAY artist’s impression of an internationally-acclaimed ballerina has scored her a finalist listing in this year’s prestigious fine art Lester Prize.

Indra Geidan’s portrait of Lucette Alder (nee Aldous) was developed after the ballerina’s daughter Floeur visited Vancouver Arts Centre as last year’s artist in residence.

Born in Auckland, Ms Alder trained under Phyllis May Danaher before attending the Royal Ballet School in London.

She danced with famous Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev during a European tour of The Nutcracker and later taught at the Australian Ballet School and WA Academy of Performing Arts.

Ms Geidan said she was blown away by Ms Alder and her story.

“I was immediately taken by her stature and her extraordinary presence,” she said.

“In 2018, Lucette was made a Companion of the Order of Australia; this helped explain her amazing presence.”

The Lester Prize celebrates portraiture of “the heroic, the despicable, the humble, the deplorable, the principled and the fallen” and “captures what it means to be ‘them’, to be ‘me’ and to be ‘us’”.

Art curators Gemma Weston and Laetitia Wilson said they were impressed with the stand- ard of works this year.

“Artists were keen to explore the intricate and multi-layered connections between home, identity and everyday life in the contemporary world,” they said.

Ms Geidan’s portrait will be displayed at Perth’s Art Gallery of WA from October 31 to November 29 and the winners will be announced on October 30.