ARC ONE is delighted to present Phanta Firma, the first solo exhibition in Australia for talented collaborative duo HONEY LONG & PRUE STENT.
Multidisciplinary artists Honey Long and Prue Stent have worked together since 2010. Their spontaneous and playful art centres on a fascination with gender and the body, and seeks to undermine notions of the passive female. They employ the body and unconventional materials to distort and fragment the bodily form, often with unexpected outcomes. Dreamy, fluid, saccharine, gritty and fleshy, Long & Stent challenge and captivate audiences with powerful imagery that crosses the subversive and the surreal.
In Phanta Firma, Long & Stent have quoted and appropriated signs, tropes, and motifs of woman from contemporary culture and the canon of art history as an erotic lure that guides the viewer into unfamiliar territory. In these works the artists have carefully composed their own bodies, and those of friends, according to the traditions of Classical aesthetics. Embodying Botticelliean nymphs and Venuses, Classical sculptures, and sirens draped in material that clings to the female form or billows in a seductive Monroesque fashion, their gaze never confronts the viewer.
However, rather than passive, still and compliant, these young figures are in control, self-assured, and enjoying their own agency as they completely immerse themselves in their hyper real earthly landscapes. For Long & Stent, ‘in dissolving the body within these spaces there is a sense of energy being liberated through the clash and mingling of matter’. This incorporation of the landscape with the female form forces the male gaze to blink and poses questions to the viewer regarding the cultural construction and representation of female sexuality and desire.
Long & Stent’s sculptures, made from blown glass slumped and deflated onto rocks collected while on location shooting their images, and containing water samples from these sites, continue this project. They act as physical conduits to these photographic works, furthering the connection between the viewer, the landscape and the figure’s experience.
Phanta Firma is a playful fantasy that seeks to embed itself in solid ground.
Working across photography, performance, installation and sculpture, Honey Long and Prue Stent (both b. 1993, Sydney, Australia) have been making art together since they were teenagers. Long completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney, in 2015 and Stent completed her Bachelor of Arts (Photography) at RMIT, Melbourne, in 2014. Their work has been shown across Australia and in various counties internationally, including Zurich, Madrid, the United Kingdom and the United States. Recent exhibitions include London Photo, The Female Lens: 9 Contemporary Female Photographers, Huxley-Parlour Gallery, London (2018); Future Feminin, Fahey/ Klein Gallery, Los Angeles (2018); Long and Stent, Nicola Von Senger Gallery, Zurich (2018); Players, curated by Cristina De Middle Puch, Photo Espanña Festival, Madrid (2017); and Sites of the Imagination, ARC ONE Gallery, Melbourne (2017). They have participated in a number of projects, including This _ _ _ _ _ _ _ may not protect you but at times it’s enough to know it’s there, collaboration with Amrita Hepi, Underbelly Arts Festival, Sydney (2017); Sound and Vision, Sydney Opera House, Sydney (2016); and Gucci #24 Hour Ace, LA. Long & Stent currently live and work between Melbourne and Sydney, Australia.