Desiree Crossing wins People’s Choice Award at Lester Prize

Outlining the silhouette of commuters on a bus traveling home after dark, Perth based contemporary painter Desiree Crossing’s The Night Commute goes deep into the psyche and emotions of travelers.

The self-portrait is the winner of the Baldock Family People’s Choice Award at the 2021 Lester Awards and depicts the tiredness, hope, frustration and a sense of longing experienced by many of us on the commute home at the end of a long day.

Specialising in portraiture, Crossing said the sumptuous oil paintings she creates speak to classical painting traditions, whilst embodying an unmistakably modern spirit.

“This painting is a response to the isolation that we feel in modern life, further amplified by the covid lockdowns,” Crossing said. “It is a particularly heightened experience when you’re a woman on public transport late at night – often intentionally puttng up walls to the other commuters.”

Crossing is no stranger to the Lester Prize having previously been a finalist in 2018 under the competition’s previous name the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture.

This year’s forty finalists were chosen from more than 750 entries received from artists across Australia. twenty-two of the forty finalists are emerging artists; seven former finalists, including two previous winners, made the final list. Twelve finalists were from Western Australia.

The Lester Prize is one of the country’s most recognised and prestigious fine art prizes and places artists and community proudly front-and-centre. The People’s Choice Award is unique in that the winner is selected by members of the general public.

The Night Commute was displayed at the Art Gallery of Western Australia along with the other 2021 Lester Prize winners.

OIP Staff


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