Artist Gary Stevens presented a special performance event over two evenings as part of an ongoing series offering a platform for research based in contemporary visual arts practice
Stevens is an artist who creates performances and video installations, working with a wide range of visual artists and performers from diverse backgrounds. His solo and ensemble works have been presented internationally in gallery, theatre, festival and public spaces.
The major live work, since 1984, is the result of long, practical and material development; the structure, which often includes an elaborate text, grows out of this process. His unique use of text and speech in a visual art context is formal, yet seems casual. It describes and defines a fictive space and situation but the conspicuous invention confronts us with something real. The work is also about modes of thought; a psychology is often alien or animal and at odds with the audience/spectators and performer’s states of mind. It is critical and funny. The staging and productions are simple and stark, but the structures are rich, compelling and complex.
Stevens won a Paul Hamlyn Award for Visual Arts in 1998, a Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts Award (New York) in 1996 and a One to One bursary from the Live Art Development Agency, 2005. He has taught in many art schools as a regular visiting Visual Art and Performance tutor, including: Byam Shaw, Goldsmith’s, Middlesex and Wimbledon. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford and is external examiner at the Slade School of Fine Art, London University BA Fine Art, Media. In 1999 he created and continues to run the Performance Lab at Artsadmin.