This May at the Cob Gallery, the photographer and musician Wendy Bevan presents Slow Light, a collection of new and unseen self-portraits presented in the form of an audio-visual installation.
As the camera is turned on the artist herself, we are seduced into a synaesthesiac realm where materiality, substance, and decay – so absent from our digitally saturated everyday – are invoked in a tangential atmosphere of ethereality, translucency, colour, depth and passion.The self-image is held up to our gaze, and the work’s subtle inscriptions of femininity and its representation are put into play. The twin icons of the femme fatale and the classical muse collide in a bodily expression of visceral strength and tremulous vulnerability.
The work in Slow Light is laced with subversive eroticism. Multiple exposures made with Bevan’s signature Polaroid camera combine to render ghostly dream-states of ambiguity, while the images are inflamed with texture and intensity. The grain and physicality of analogue film are subjected to Bevan’s articulate choreography of light.
A soundscape of surging, dissonant strings echoes and thickens the photographs’ atmospherics in an accompanying site-specific installation. Taking the gallery-space itself as a canvas, Bevan charges it with a teaming richness of tone and feeling. With many of the photographs printed on silk, and others projected, natural light seeps through in undulations of acute poise and rhythm.
Bevan has exhibited internationally, and produced photographic and film work for a panoply of titles including Vogue Italia, POP and i-D. Her photographic subjects have included iconic figures like Tilda Swinton and Debbie Harry, while she places herself in an artistic lineage that takes in other female artists such as Maya Deren, Francesca Woodman and Claude Cahun. As a musician, she is a formidable talent, most recently found at the helm of her ‘hypnagogic anti-band’Temper Temper.