She made her name in fashion, but Prue Acton's art has a beauty that speaks for itself, writes Michael Winkler.
Blue eyes? Check. Blonde curls? Check. Throaty laugh? Check. Yes, it is Prue Acton - but not as you knew her. The former wunderkind of Australian fashion, media favourite and groundbreaking businesswoman is living a new life. For well over a decade she has lived in a remote part of southern NSW, where she does little except paint. But now she is back in Melbourne, briefly, for her first solo painting exhibition in the city where she first found fame.
"Melbourne is such fun!" she says. "There are so many things on, so much to see. But that doesn't bring peace, doesn't bring the quietude I needed to become a painter."
She has had four previous solo shows. "I can pull a big crowd. It's very daunting to be showing in Melbourne, but my work's getting better all the time. I've been selling very well. People buy five and six at a time."
While the Acton name might get people through the door, does she experience sniffiness from the art in-crowd? "I have some friends in the art world who say it doesn't work for me at all, because people come in doubly critical and look for faults. 'Oh, she's just a face.' But I've had some good crits, and while a lot of people don't want my work, those that do love it."

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