Wendy Bevan is a London based photographic artist and musician, interested in the communication of the visceral emotional complexities of contemporary womanhood via a vast array of media that spans musical performance, visual imagery and immersive, experiential artworks.
Her unique aesthetic explores femininity, role-play and the unique paradigm of female identity in the heavily saturated media landscape of 21st century – as such, she seeks to cut through the avalanche of mainstream dogma, communicating an uncompromising vision of female representation through a wide number of lenses; conjuring a darkly lit, ethereal universe that captures symmetry in temporality, dream-states and decay.
Bevan’s work in all her chosen fields has witnessed a wide number of commissions and collaborations, and she has worked in various guises with cultural alumni as varied as composer Michael Nyman, producers Paul Simm (Nenah Cherry/Massive Attack), Marc Collin (Neuvelle Vague) Myles Clark, and John Owen Williams. She is currently working on a new musical ventures with producer Howie B.
Additionally to this, she is working on a new album of violin soundscapes, to be released later in 2014 with underground sound artist Christos Fanaras. She has co-written with a diverse range of musicians such as Jazz Trumpeter Matthew Halsall, David McAlmont (McAlmont and Butler), and singer's Marcella Puppini (The Puppini Sisters) and Rebekah Dobbins.
As an established performer she has worked with top theatre companies such as PunchDrunk and with her own work, performed on the stages at the likes of The ICA, Hackney Empire, Latitude Festival, Secret Garden Party, Wilderness and SPILL Festival of Performance, as well as various other music and theatre/performance festivals.
Bevan has exhibited internationally, and produced celebrated photography and film for leading international fashion titles, such as Italian Vogue, POP, Italian Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Stiletto, and i-D Magazine; to name but a few. It is perhaps unsurprising that the subjects of her fashion portraiture have included fellow female icons, such as Tilda Swinton and Debbie Harry.
As in all of Bevan’s artistic output, nothing is ever quite what it seems – the imagery she creates in the fashion sphere, for example, bleeds her artistic concerns into commercial environs, profoundly questioning our relationship not only to what is perceived but also the agenda of the media through which it is presented.
There is a sense of gravitas and maturity in Bevan’s photographic images and a rich poetry that aligns perfectly with her musical output, the most recent of which was the immersive experiential hypnagogic anti-band Temper Temper http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MDcj_tQ3-E a widely toured project conceived with writer Seiriol Davies, in which she took on the role of an ironic Dietrich-esque femme fatale, inveigling the viewer into a surreal universe of ambiguity and uncomfortable narratives that excavate a tender, sympathetic portrayal of the feminine form free from the male gaze.
The haunting women at the core of Bevan’s images and various musical alter egos vacillate from what appears to be serenity and calm, to deep melancholy and near-madness – these are women who appear to be lost a maze of emotion and projected personas that maintain an intangible, yet very apparent strength. Bevan’s artistic output is essentially a searing form of psychoanalytic self-representation, dancing between the dichotomy of the femme fatale, the anxiety of desire and the perceived role of a classical muse. As such, she is the logical successor to the conceptual lineage of Diamanda Galas, Barbara Kruger, Louise Bourgeois and Sarah Lucas – an artist in her prime, fiercely challenging the language of a society still in the grip of a male-dominated, patriarchal paradigm.
Wendy's new show 'Slow Light' will be opening at London's COB Gallery in May 2014