Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Quiet Return: Portrait of Former Alberta Premier Redford Hung without Fanfare

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Quiet Return: Portrait of Former Alberta Premier Redford Hung without Fanfare

Article excerpt

Quiet return for former Alberta premier

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EDMONTON - Former scandal-scarred Alberta premier Alison Redford was immortalized on the walls of the legislature Thursday morning by two staffers who rolled up with no notice, hung her portrait in seconds, checked the levels, and left.

There was no traditional pomp and fanfare that traditionally accompanies the official portrait unveilings of premiers past.

Redford said in a statement she did not want any.

"Those in political life are inclined to use events such as this unveiling to paint their own picture of how they want to be remembered and what they hope their legacy might be,"she wrote.

"I am choosing not to do that."

"While the temptation to paint their own pictures and tell their own stories will be hard for some to resist, I instead choose to leave the history of my time in office to be written when time has provided a clearer perspective."

She thanked those who supported her while in office, adding "It was a unique honour and privilege that has changed my life, my understanding of myself, others, and of this beautiful province."

The portrait depicts Redford, Alberta's first female premier, in a maroon jacket and black skirt standing with her left hand resting on a stack of books on a side table and her right hand holding the family tartan.

The names of the books etched on the spines reflect her stated core values and interests: Energy, Opportunity, Equality, Diversity.

Around her neck are the pearls passed down from grandmother to mother to her.

The work is an oil on canvas by Calgary artist Liela Chan, completed for $12,500.

Unlike the portraits of the 13 premiers who preceded her, Redford does not look directly back at the observer. Rather her head is tilted up, looking into the distance.

Ric McIver, interim leader of Redford's Progressive Conservatives, said he was OK with the lack of ceremony. …

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