Arts lecturers shortlisted for top awards

Monday, 25 July 2016

Stuart Watters Stuart Watters piece Kultureland was a finalist for the Wynne Prize.

School of Arts lecturers Prudence Flint and Stuart Watters have received recognition for their outstanding artwork, shortlisted for the nation’s top art awards.

Prudence Flint has been named as a finalist for the 2016 Archibald Portrait Prize, arguably the most prestigious award in Australian art, for her portrait of academic Athena Bellas titled Shower, and is in the running for the Archibald People’s Choice award. It is the fourth time and second consecutive year she has been shortlisted for the Archibald.

School of Arts colleague Stuart Watters was a finalist Wynne Prize, which is awarded annually for the best landscape painting of Australian scenery or for the best example of figure sculpture by Australian artists, for his piece Kultureland.

Regarded as one of Australia’s premier portrait artists, Ms Flint said the opportunity to work with aspiring artists at ACU as they find their feet in a new environment has proved a rewarding experience.

“I enjoy teaching, particularly helping students work through their challenges and navigate those times when they hit a creative block,” Ms Flint said.

“They’ll arrive at ACU sometimes with trepidation and even anxiety about what to expect, but I really love to see them grow in confidence and engagement and how that translates into the focus they have on their studio projects.”

(Prudence Flint's Shower, above, was a finalist in the 2016 Archibald Portrait Prize)

Despite accolades such as the coveted Doug Moran National Portrait Prize (2004) and Portia Geach Memorial Award (2010), Ms Flint said when undertaking a project it is important to block out external noise and focus on the task at hand.

“The relationship you have with your work has to be an internal conversation, but ultimately it has to go out for the world to see and you can’t control how people are going to read  the work,” Ms Flint.

“I never do these paintings thinking it’s going to be a finalist for the Archibald Prize because if you are thinking about the outcome it colours and diminishes the way you approach it. I try and forget about that side of things and focus on trying to make a compelling painting.”

The ACU community can support Ms Flint by voting for her piece Shower in the People’s Choice award, either in person at the Art Gallery of New South Wales or online via Sydney Morning Herald website.

Find out more about the School of Arts offerings and be sure to check out the 2016 ACU Open Day nearest you.