Jude Rae (b.1956) is an established and celebrated painter of portraits and still lifes. Currently living and working between Sydney and Canberra, Rae has established herself as an important still life and portrait painter in Australia and New Zealand, using the rich history of these genres as the basis of her works. Her works are highly sought after and she has won the Portia Geach Memorial Award for portraiture twice, in 2005 and 2008, once for a self-portrait and once for a portrait of fellow artist Micky Allan, who is also represented in this series.
In 1975 Rae gained a Diploma in Drawing and Painting from the Julian Ashton Art School Sydney, followed by a Bachelor of Arts degree (majoring in Art History) in 1980 from the University of Sydney, and a Master’s degree in 1993 in painting from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
Rae’s series of Interiors (which originally included several other paintings) are of Canberra residents and artists, mainly fellow tenants at the Australian National Capital Artists studios: Micky Allan, Anna Eggert, David Hodges, Jason Kidd, Jennifer Lawrence, Martin Paull, Caitlin Perriman, Tom Masterson, Derek O’Connor, Meg Roberts, Steenus von Steensen (Lal), and Clare Thackway. Rae chose to paint this series portraying the subjects with their eyes closed as a response to the commonly expressed aphorism of one’s eyes being the ‘windows of the soul.’ In closing their eyes the subjects render themselves vulnerable, the objects of our gaze, but they are also themselves, complete in their own interior worlds.