Alexis Hunter in Cracow.

Alexis Hunter is an artist brought up in the Waitakeres Ranges in Auckland, New Zealand, after her parents emigrated from Australia. For her Fine Arts Degree in the 1960s she focused on painted portraits of passive men, by way of challenge to the male viewer in Art History, critiquing as a woman artist the veiwer's expectations that the subject matter would be female, by reversing the convention of male artist/female model.


As an ongoing rationalisation of the artist as female she adopted the role of critic on her own work for her academic thesis completed in 1969.


On arriving in London in 1972 Alexis Hunter joined the artists Union, of which the Woman's Workshop was a subgroup. This was a hotbed for the intellectual force of feminist debate and theory through the early 1970s in London. At that time, now over 35 years ago, Hunter was interested in the fault lines between the feminist concept of Patriarchy and the way in which the media world viewed men. She sought images of men in the street which portrayed this dichotomy which became The Object Series, a photorealist oil painting twenty - five feet long. This work is now on show in the WACK! Art and Feminist Revolution in the Museum of Modern Art in Los Angeles, USA, on loan from the Auckland City Gallery Collection.


Hunter then invented a form of art that incorporated feminist theory; images and presentation that again insisted on the female identity of the artist. These photographs produced as narrative sequences were called Approach To Fear, and investigated the value of feminism in conquering conventional female fears, such as technophobia, rape, grief, and objectified male sexual power. She used the still camera as a movie camera to capture the symbolic relationships between objects and human intelligence, the hidden psyche and made a visual antidote to the ideas of romance and sexuality in advertising. The viewer is invited, through the focus of the camera lens to view the artist's attention to theory - as the images sharpen the focus delineates the symbolic detachment and the realization of the goal of psychological liberation from pre- feminist socialization.

Alexis Hunter and Lynda Morris of the Norwich Gallery are presenting this work to a new generation as they feel there is a genuine interest in radical politics after the materialism of the last two decades. The ethic of this artwork and the complex dialectic between painting, film and the still photograph that this work explores can be seen now for its complexity and experimental nature. Not only does the context remain politically radical but the imagery is contemporary incorporating as it does Hunter's early photographic experiments in film and as this work is performance art where the artist is the 'exposed' protagonist.

Alexis Hunter's work is a timely reminder of the privileges that women fought for in the 1960s and 70s are now under threat. This radical work shows how art can be political and can be used to subvert and challenge the status quo without sacrificing aesthetic integrity and artistic experiment.

For the first time this work has been published in colour, in the accompanying limited edition Artist's Book Alexis Hunter/ Radical Feminist Art in the 1970s.