Wendy Bevan. Daughter, Sister. Mother
Words Whitney Bryan
Photographer Wendy Bevan
“I’m really inspired by light and sense of space”.
When I ask Wendy Bevan, what inspires her most about L.A, I receive an answer that surprises me more in its quick assuredness than content. Staring through my translucent MacBook screen up to the almost equally translucent woman before me, gone, is the notion of the airy London/California cool you would assume through her body of photographs and soothing sounds—it instead, is replaced with the type of poised artist who is sure enough in her universal aesthetic that you believe she’s doing nothing at all.
Wendy, whose mix of music and photography firmly puts her in the quintessential category of the ’renaissance woman’, is the type of artist who thinks deeply about her work and the correlation it brings within her real life. In her new ambient project, ’Daughter, Sister, Mother’, the tracks surround you with a sonic, yet calming wallpaper of thought that encompasses you no matter what room you’re listening in. Despite it being the personal contemplations and reincarnations of Wendy’s place in the world—as a vast majority of her music, it’s easy enough to visualise that same work as the soundtrack to a protagonist from a Stanley Kubrick film. This combined with her new album in the works with New Wave keyboardist, Nick Rhodes (Duran, Duran), makes her a force to be reckoned with.
As I delve more into the digital rendezvous about Wendy’s work, we begin to slowly escape outside to a more personal tête-à-tête of influences, parents and storytellers.
Whitney Bryan – Being a photographer and musician, how do you manage to correlate your art so well together?
Wendy Bevan – It all comes from the same place within me, most of my work in pictures or music is based on instinct and emotion, it’s a great mirror of my subconscious mind. Sometimes I’m able to relay my vision better in pictures, other times in sound. The most important correlation is the consistency of feeling I create in my work, this can be achieved in a variety of ways: colour, style, concepts, performance, energy, light, shadow. It doesn’t matter how it’s expressed. It’s a form of expression and the story, I have to tell. Music and pictures work so well together, it feels completely natural for me. Last year I was taken on by, ‘Ridley Scott Associates (RSA)’, as a Photographer and Moving Image Maker. I have recently been commissioned to direct a short film and write the music for it too. In the future, I would like to move more into directing movies.
Coat Karl Friedrich Hieronymus
Whitney – You seem to have crafted an almost ’Lynchian’ cinematic universe, with your videos like, ‘Love from the Moon’ and ‘In Ghosts We Trust’. What inspirations have you drawn from to craft your world?
Wendy -Within the vast boundaries of uncertainty lies the truth of one’s inner knowledge. When I see something that resonates with me, inspiration is the key. It’s a sign; therefore, within the world I create, I use it. I process these signs through a variety of inspirations. These films you reference above are already in my mind, but the things in life that come to me as inspiration often trigger me to create them, so they can become accessible to others.
Whitney – In what I can only imagine is a whirlwind of influences, how do you manage to keep and implement your own identity within your work?
Wendy – In knowing that everything is temporary, my own thoughts and experiences have guided me through often the greatest of darkness to the greatest of light…so many other things that I have learnt and witnessed are the clues. I find inspiration by knowing the depth of myself as a human being, as part of this life force, and accepting my own insignificance in this vast universe and always being open to learn from others. Knowing that, in the capacity I embody, I need to relay this aesthetic as an artist, it is deep within me, so I can find inspiration everywhere, inspiration is in the knowledge of knowing that life is a process; that takes time to master.
Dress Teatum Jones
Coat Karl Friedrich Hieronymus
Whitney – With your hands in every alley you seem to embody the ‘Renaissance Woman’, but what do you think you would be doing if it wasn’t music or photography?
Wendy – I would love to study Astronomy and Space Science.
Whitney – You describe your photographic work as existing in a world of the ‘quintessential English storyteller’. What people would you class as true storytellers?
Wendy – There are many great story tellers out there! In the Photography world I would say my greats are: Tim Walker, Helmut Newton and Sarah Moon. In music: Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Scott Walker, John Cage, Bowie, Meredith Monk.… In cinema: Wim Wenders, Werner Herzog, David Lynch; in dance, Pina Bausch…but these lists feel primitive with bold references; I have such diverse eclectic taste that this barely scratches the surface…
Whitney –I’ve also noticed that you have such strong feminine energy within your bodies of works. In this day and age do you think it’s more important to keep hold of that?
Wendy – Yes. Absolutely.
Whitney – With both of your parents being actors, how much do you think that attributed to your own sense of performance?
Wendy – Performance for me is part of a life I have grown up with and known. For many years in my early teens and twenties, I lived in Covent Garden in the heart of theatre land in London;>>
<< I grew up there and became the artist I am now. Performance is in the pulse of those streets and it’s a part of who I am. My parents trained as classic English Theatre actors in the late 1960’s, and my mother also trained as a Ballerina; it’s a very particular world. When I stand on the stage and perform my music, I feel like I’m playing a role of my own making. I haven’t been performing so much in the last year, but I’m working on a new music performance project that I hope to launch towards the end of 2019.
Whitney – Now that you’re living in LA, does the creative energy differ from the one in England?
Wendy – Vastly different yes. It’s something I’m still adjusting to, and I feel very English amidst it all! I still work a lot in London and Europe though, more and more I work remotely online and travel back regularly to shoot or record with people I’m collaborating with. Essentially, I think London may always play a part of being home for me, but just for now, I choose to spend time and live elsewhere.
In this shift, I have questioned the idea of home, and once you let go of what you know and spread the roots of your foundation wider you realise you can find that sense of home wherever you are in the world. Creatively, I have friends and collaborators in the UK that I have developed relationships with for many, many years, and there is a deep-rooted trust that cannot be shifted. But what LA offers me is irreplaceable, the light here is phenomenal, and the energy of this city over the last few years is electric, I have worked with some great artists here in LA and will continue to do so.
Whitney –The narrative of your albums always seems to be morphing and growing, what story do you want to tell with your next EP?
Wendy – I’m currently working on a series of ambient soundscapes and plan to release this as an EP soon. It is called, ‘Daughter, Sister, Mother’ and is inspired by exactly these transitions in my life. At birth I became a daughter, some years later I became a sister and now I question in my life, will I become a mother?
I think as an artist, as a human being, one is always growing, I see my work within music as a literal notation and documentation of this.
Dress Pam Hogg
Stylist Jules Wood
Hair Johnny Stuntz
MakeUp Donald Simrock