Exhibition • Upcoming

Leyla Stevens

2 Nov 2024 – 16 Feb 2025
Art Gallery of New South Wales

Above: Leyla Stevens, Patiwangi, the death of fragrance (2021), 2 channel video, stereo sound, 8:57 minutes. Courtesy the artist
Art Gallery of New South Wales
North Building, Lower Level One
Art Gallery Road
The Domain
Sydney NSW 2000

Leyla Stevens is the first artist to be selected for a new ongoing, annual co-commission between the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Artspace. The partnership supports an artist or collective from Artspace's One Year Studio Program to develop a new work for presentation at the Art Gallery, as part of the new Contemporary Projects series, in collaboration with curators from both institutions.

Leyla Stevens is an Australian–Balinese artist whose films and photographs uncover alternative histories, including of people, rituals and objects connected to the Indonesian island of Bali. Developed through extensive research and community collaboration, her works carry a potent emotive charge in their sensitive yet affecting retellings.

In this exhibition, Stevens will present new multimedia work exploring Bali’s natural world, as told through an overlooked collection of Balinese ink paintings. The original works, made by artisans from the villages of Batuan and Sanur in the 1930s, depict the local landscape and supernatural beings known to dwell within mountains, ravines, forests and rivers. In response, Stevens’ digital animation and sonic composition will make visible the island’s environmental precarity as well as the local philosophies that could support its ecological preservation.

Co-curated by Artspace and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the exhibition is part of the Contemporary Projects series at the Art Gallery.

The Art Gallery of New South Wales gratefully acknowledges the support of Contemporary Projects patrons Andrew and Cathy Cameron.