Centenary of Grace – Eileen Kramer, 2015
oil on canvas 
122 cm x 162 cm
Detail of Panel I – Centenary of Grace – Eileen Kramer, 2015

Detail of Panel 2 – Centenary of Grace – Eileen Kramer, 2015

For Eileen, born in 1914, every day is a day to create. Her 76 year career as writer, dancer, painter, costume designer and choreographer began in 1939 with the Bodenwieser Ballet, one of Australia’s first modern dance companies. 

In 2014 she was honoured with a Lifetime achievement Award from the Arts Health Institute for whom she is now an official Ambassador.

First introductions to Eileen and her stimulating body of work, extended through mutual friend, Jack Thompson, at the opening night of her latest work, a performance of the “The Early Ones” that she both choreographed and performed.  

While researching for the portrait, I attended a dance and movement class held by Eileen with the intention to observe and sketch. However it proved difficult to be merely a spectator, being drawn into her graceful hypnotic movements. Enticed to participate, not necessarily following the graceful actions of the class, but eager to experience the rhythms, fluidity and elegance of the movements that Eileen expresses so naturally.

Eileen was a dream model. Her company was inspiring. Dancing, moving and holding a pose, always with grace and poise, while expounding on future creative ideas with passion and enthusiasm. 

Artist Statement – 2014