ESSAY by curator Daniel Mudie Cunningham
Ghost Class Series (2015)
Ghost Class, (still) Tina Havelock Stevens
ROOM SHEET ESSAY
ARTIST LED AUDIO TOUR
Tina Havelock Stevens’ works encourage an experience of the world that is attuned to emotional responses, to the rhythm and movement of structures and environments that we inhabit and traverse. She brings together her energy and drive as a drummer and performer with the inquiry and observation of her experience as a documentary film-maker. Present in her works is an innate aural and visual intuition. They offer the experience of suspended time, gauging the cerebral temperature and tempo of passing moments.
“I love things that travel and soar. I love quiet and loud. Fast and slow. I love minor chords, intuitive surprises and whatever that equivalent is in all of my visual work too. I like that an audience can share an experience but have multiple perspectives.” – Tina Havelock Stevens
• ‘HOLUS BOLUS’, 2020, Gold neon, 152 cm x 20 cm, 1/5 + 2AP. Photos by Bo Wong.
• ‘Ghost Class’, 2015 , HD video with sound, 10:59.
• ‘THUNDERHEAD’, 2016, HD Video with sound by Tina Havelock Stevens and Liberty Kerr, Infinite loop.
• ‘Let’s Groove’, 2017, HD video with sound, 8:50.
• Come Together, Right Now, 2006/2018, Digitised super 8 film with sound, 4:59.
In Double Double, dance artists Jo Lloyd and Deanne Butterworth are joined by interdisciplinary artists (on drumkits) Evelyn Ida Morris and Tina Havelock Stevens in an epic meeting of four performers where spontaneous compositions and formations emerge out of a physical and sonic mania. Over the course of two hours, the performers lap through time and space as their personas merge, separate and collide. Motion and noise slap against each other as tension escalates, making for a riveting sensory experience.
Havelock Stevens is one of the more exciting contemporary artists working today, with an astute pulse on the collective psyche, but also great humanity that explores collective empathy, shared vulnerabilities and a search for belonging –
Gina Fairley, Artshub 2020
TINA HAVELOCK STEVENS
Tina Havelock Stevens is a Sydney based artist who explores the ambiguities of human nature predominantly using cinematic conventions, performance, text and immersive installations. She creates suspended moments that speak of survival and fragility and draws connections between specific environments and personal histories, sociological and emotional spaces.
Havelock Stevens recently had a major solo show at Carriageworks for Sydney Festival 2021 with her audio-visual installation THANK YOU FOR HOLDING. In 2020 she exhibited in Afterglow Yokohama Triennale, Japan and Hope in the Dark at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne. She also had a major solo show of video and neon at Perth Institute of Contemporary Art and was featured in The National 2019: New Australian Art at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. Other works include a year long collaboration with the Hills District community in Sydney’s North west creating various visual and sonic elements for her major Museum of Contemporary Art C3 West project “Hasta La Bella Vista Baby’ which culminated in a significant multi – artform event (2019)
Havelock Stevens is the recipient of the prestigious 65th Blake Prize (2018) and the 55th Fisher Ghost Prize (2017).
She curated for Artbar at the Museum of Contemporary Art (2018) and has delivered various commissions including ‘Submerge’, MONA FOMA (2013), REWIND ROOM (Performance Space, 2015) THUNDERHEAD at Dark Mofo and Performance Space (2016), BETASHOCKERS, Big Anxiety Festival (UNSW & AGNSW, Sydney, 2017) and BEATS OF DARKNESS for the Manila Biennale (Philippines, 2018)
Other select exhibitions include Gertrude Contemporary (Melbourne, 2011 & 2015), Fisher Ghost Art Prize (Contemporary Section winner, 2013), Bullet Space (NYC, 2014), MILL 6 CHAT Foundation (Hong Kong, 2016), Alaska Projects (Sydney, 2016), Darren Knight Gallery (Sydney, 2017), Galerie Pom Pom (Sydney, 2017), The Lock Up Gallery (Newcastle, 2018 & 2016), Artspace (Sydney, 2018) and John Fries Art Award finalist (UNSW, 2017) amongst many other installations and performances nationally and internationally.
Havelock Stevens is on the MCA Artist Advisory Group and is a former resident artist of the Clothing Store, Carriageworks 2019 – 2020.
Her work has been featured on ABC Radio’s Arts and Books shows, ABC TV News Breakfast and in publications such as the Sydney Morning Herald, RealTime, Running Dog, Artlink, Art Almanac, Artshub, and in Art Collector ’s Top Fifty Artists (2017 & 2020), as well as feature articles on her art drumming practice in magazines Tom Tom, 2016 (US) and Drumscene, 2018 (AU). Her work is in the collections of Artbank, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Newcastle Art Gallery, and numerous private collections.
She continues to work with collaborators such as choreographer Jo Lloyd (Performance Space 2017 & 2019, Ian Potter Museum 2019, Dark Mofo 2020) composer Cat Hope (Fremantle Biennale 2017, Perth Festival 2019) music and art ensemble Chicks on Speed (Artspace 2013, MCA 2014, Performance Space 2019) and with long-time musical collaborator Liberty Kerr (The Mumps/post rock band, experimental duo performances, THUNDERHEAD, The Rapids)