- Past Exhibition
Femme Fatale: the female criminal
Australian authorities have grappled with how to control wayward women from the moment raucous female convicts stepped ashore. The brutal reality of notorious female criminals such as ‘the man woman murderer’ Eugenia Falleni, sly grogger Kate Leigh and poisoner Yvonne Fletcher is in stark contrast to the glamour of the noir seductress and pulp novel siren. This exhibition examines these extremes, traversing criminological theory, popular culture and case studies.
The female criminal has always intrigued human society. The femme fatale usually possesses an irresistible sexual allure and leads an enthralling life unpunished by the law. Scrutinised closely, the reality for most women turns out to be a hard, dysfunctional and violent life – brutalised and degraded further by stints in prison.