One of Australia’s most important artists, Prudence Flint calls out gender stereotypes from the farthest reaches of art history to contemporary visual media cultures. She does so in her unique and striking rendering of women on their own terms. Flint’s paintings are artfully political, stylistically striking and imbued with intrigue.
This intrigue capitalises on our lack of familiarity with the female protagonist when she is not pitted against the stakes of male desire. We are confronted by our estrangement from the female figure, alongside the artist who, like most women, must constantly confront her own. The simplest of gestures—spitting, showering, washing, sitting, thinking—seem to suggest some covert narrative, but Flint’s women are not embroiled in anything sinister, they are what they are: that which art has historically refused to acknowledge.
This is the power of Flint’s paintings; moments of repose resist sexualisation. Thoughtfulness is not akin to whimsy; domestic settings don’t demand domesticity. Flint wrestles back the structurally entrenched gaze and paints the complexity of looking at women who are simply and unapologetically women.