An interview with Wendy Bevan
As long as Odalisque has been around, we have always had a reference to British photographer Wendy Bevan. Her images are most commonly part of our moodboards and in the backs of our minds. The way she fuses art and fashion to create a wormhole to a lost world beyond time and place is how we have known her. When my research about Wendy Bevan the Photographer began, I found out that she was much more than just a photographer. Even though she has always been a photographer and filmmaker, shooting her own films at a young age and taking pictures as a means of sketching fragments from a dream, she’s more of a super-artist, working in several genres simultaneously. In addition to her photographic work, Bevan has been making musical collaborations as a singer and is about to release her first solo project In Ghosts We Trust, produced by Marc Collin on Kwaidan Records later this year.. Bevan also occasionally DJS, mixing tunes from gothic avant garde, dark wave, neo-classical and post-punk genres. Furthermore, she has an ongoing event featured at filmmaker David Lynch’s night club Silencio in Paris, that will be revealed later in 2015. Bevan started her first band at an early age, although this first foray only lasted a short while it unleashed her passion for music. She started playing violin, piano and taking singing lessons when she was seven which gained a full scholarship to music school. She has clearly been in contact with music for most for her life, although she still considers herself a beginner with much left to learn. MM: When I first got to know your work it was through photography. I then learned that you are a multi-artist, working with music, photography and acting. Which area is your current focus?
WB: I am developing my new music project at the moment with a producer in Paris. The project will be released later this year, alongside a series of new film collaborations that I’m developing over time.
MM: You’re quite a master of collaborations.
WB: I’ve had many and have a few more good ones lined up. No spoilers though. I typically work with people I already know. My team becomes an extended family – loyalty is something to value. At the same time, I love working with new artists. They add a new colour that one perhaps hasn’t seen before.
MM: What did your solo exhibition Slow Light include, and how was it received?
WB: Slow Light was a piece of photographic and sound sculpture, created by mapping images, projected into an inflated parachute in a blacked-out room. I learned a lot about aerodynamics during this period. People came to see the show and they left
bewildered, with no questions answered and only the desire to ask more.
MM: How do you interpret visual inspiration in your music, as in Saints Don’t Sleep, when you mixed mythology and black magic?
WB: With my instinct and supernatural forces. Composing the music opened a portal to further explorations in the area. A visit to Turin became a wellspring of ideas affected by the Satanic mythology of the city, which in turn lead to the development of the showcase.
MM: What was the main source of inspiration for your visual work? WB: The world in-between.
MM: Have you ever gotten any negative responses from being involved in so many different art forms? I mean, most people like to put others in categories – do they ever get confused because you do so many different things?
WB: It’s a shame for the people who get confused. But I don’t like being put in any category. Negativity comes from insecurity, perhaps the unknown makes people feel a little on edge. But that’s okay too.. it’s sometimes good to feel a little on-edge.
MM: You live in London, though you seem to travel frequently to Paris and Milan. How is the climate in London for female artists? I know it’s often harder for a woman to be accepted and appreciated in the industry.
WB: It can be a good or bad city, even if you are male or female. That cruel mistress of a city doesn’t care about gender. I’ve lived in London for too long to have any sensible perspective, but something keeps me there – and I’m not bored yet but I want to leave soon. I’m at my happiest when I know I have a ticket booked to get out of town.
MM: It’s Friday the 13th. How are you spending your day?
WB: I’m superstitious, so I’m spending the day with my black cat.