An interview with Prue Stent
Australian photographer and multi-media artist Prue Stent won our recent theme ‘Colours’ with her mesmerising, sensorial image ‘Flutter’. It struck us with its juxtaposition of boldness and detail, simplicity and ambiguity, creating something powerful and memorable.
These themes run through Prue’s work. She flirts with ideas of femininity, the mainstream media’s view of beauty, power and submissiveness, but in a bold, playful and ambiguous way. There’s a pop-art feel to her work – serious messages obscured within graphic, immediate, sugary visuals.
We sat down with Prue to ask her about these ideas, along with her process and what it’s like to be an up-and-coming photographer in Melbourne. Like her art, her responses are bold and thought-provoking.
Prue – congratulations on winning our sixth theme ‘Colours’ with your wonderful image ‘Flutter’. Can you tell us a little more about the image and the series it comes from?
‘Flutter’ was the first image taken for the ‘Moulding’ series done in collaboration with Honey Long. In this image we play with fabric as an extension of the human body. It’s fascinating in the way it interacts with the bodies and how external elements determine and take control of the form. The obstructed identities create a sense of ambiguity to challenge the viewer as to whether the subjects are liberated or repressed. Flutter captures a dynamic moment, transporting the viewer into an alternate reality. Like the rest of the ‘Mouldings’ series we intend to tap into the subconscious mind and present an otherworldly beauty.
Photography is so often a solo-pursuit, but it seems like a real team-effort with Honey. Can you tell us a little bit about working with her? How did you start collaborating and what does each of you bring?
I’ve been working with Honey ever since we became close friends at the beginning of high school. We share many of the same interests and conceptually are very likeminded. Our artistic process has always been flexible and spontaneous with our roles constantly shifting. We are both interested in every aspect of the process from photography and sculpture to costume design and performance. Neither of us are merely a ‘subject’ – our involvement is equal. We are interacting with each other throughout the entire process.