Approved: 30.03.2020

Alexis Zelda Stevens

Artist, Consultant, Curator, Event organiser, Project manager

Approved: 30.03.2020

I make sculpture, installation and dance. I'm fascinated by the non-verbal part of our communication and interactions, and the power dynamics tied up in them. I foreground the physical elements in these experiences to make 'what situations feel like to touch’. The work is poetic, tactile and connected to the expressing visceral body. In sculptural works, the body is referred to indirectly through poetic abstractions of body-like materials; cultural abstractions like gestures; and ubiquitous experiences of day to day physicality like getting up from sitting on grass with its imprint on the back of your legs; or the inner tension of suppressing a whole story of gestures with one unreadable blank expression.

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Artist Statement

I make sculpture, installation and dance. I'm fascinated by the non-verbal part of our communication and interactions, and the power dynamics tied up in them. I foreground the physical elements in these experiences to make 'what situations feel like to touch’. The work is poetic, tactile and connected to the expressing visceral body. In sculptural works, the body is referred to indirectly through poetic abstractions of body-like materials; cultural abstractions like gestures; and ubiquitous experiences of day to day physicality like getting up from sitting on grass with its imprint on the back of your legs; or the inner tension of suppressing a whole story of gestures with one unreadable blank expression.


In my visual language I weave relationships between real/artificial and play with materiality and scale. Performance works provide an exploration of states of being. I'm part of an informal Tanztheatre movement collective with dancers and interested others. In 2017 I choreographed and directed a 20 minute dance work with three dancers about failed momentum in the mourning process. 

I’m interested in thinkers that put the body centre stage over language as a structural element, Brian Massumi and Eve Sedgewick, Affect Theory, Visceral Theory, before that Julia Kristeva and Helen Cixous. Also in popular psychology/social sciences, Darrian Leader, (What is Madness; The New Black),Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence; why it can matter more than IQ; Social Intelligence; the new science of social relationships) and John Gottman (The Relationship Cure).

CV & Education

B.1982, Isle of Wight.

PERFORMANCES

  • 2019 Studio Sharing, The Place, London. One Way Street to Disaster. Devising performer in Tanztheatre work by choreographer Adrian Look.
  • 2017 SPACE, London. LCN Showcase, Edition Two. Contents in Touch. 20 min dance work choreographed/directed by me in response to my text, made with and danced by Francesco Migliaccio, Marta Polak and Robyn Holder. Three performances.
  • 2010 Finsbury Town Hall, London. You are a Lid to Me. Sculpture Moves. 5 min dance work based on my sculptural work, choreographed by me and danced by Natasha Gostwick and Lorraine Haddad.

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

  • 2019 Recreational Grounds IV in association with ASC and PADA Studios Lisbon, Wendover House Car Park, Ayelsbury Estate, London.
  • 2018 i.a.u.o.e and SHELF London at The Old Spanish City, Newcastle
  • 2018 Peer Social at St.John on Bethnal Green, London. Genesis Light Magic
  • 2018 Scaffold Gallery at Paradise Works, Manchester. There is No Such Thing As Boredom
  • 2017 SPACE, London. LCN Showcase, Edition Two. New sculptural work, dance film.
  • 2017 Assembly Point Studios, London. ODDS. Group exhibition with artists including Holy Hendry, Imran Perretta and Nathaniel Rackowe.Curated by Robbie Fife and Jonathan Kipps.
  • 2015 Stour Space, Hackney Wick, Stour Collective, studio collective exhibition.
  • 2007 Mineral Tramways Festival, Redruth. Wheal Art Weekend. Curated by Level2 Collective. Under the Thrift. Site-specific installation outdoors on a public world heritage site, Wheal Francis Mine.
  • 2006 Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance. Provisional Newlyn. A collaboration: Collaborate or Separate? Invited by artist Dominic Thomas.

COMMISSIONS

  • 2016 Metal, Southend. Village Green Festival 2016, Artists Village produced by Metal. Large Shrub 3. New temporary commission- site-specific outdoor installation in a public park during a one day festival. Supported by Metal's Culture Lab and Arts Council England.

SOLO PRESENTATIONS

  • 2006 Phoenix Arts Association, Brighton. Outside the Frame. Large-scale, room-filling installation Confronting the Gaze.
  • 2005 ArtSway. New Forest. Alexis Zelda Stevens. Large-scale two-room installation. Selected out of 100 people curated by Peter Bonnell. Supported by the ArtHouse

RESIDENCIES

  • 2016 Metal Culture-Lab, R&D for new commission.
  • 2010 Sadler’s Wells/Jerwood Arts. The Big Intensive. Single visual artist selected, one of 15 emerging choreographers on a two-week fully supported professional development residency supported by Jerwood Arts/ Jerwood Studio.
  • 2007 Attik Dance Company, Moving Summer. Research and Development Residency.
  • 2005 ArtSway [pro] Duction Residency. Sought after two-month residency to generate new work for a solo show, supported by the ArtHouse.

AWARDS

  • 2019 ArtQuest/ Cubitt Peer Network, peer-crit group with invited specialists.
  • 2018 A-N Artist Bursary, for self-defined professional development activity: Tanztheatre training, jesmonite casting, mentoring by Eddie Peake. 2017 SPACE LCN Artist Development Programme, six months.
  • 2012 A-N. Re: view Bursary, mentoring with Stephanie Rosenthal art and dance/ interdisciplinary, collaboration.
  • 2007 Creative Skills Consortium Skills Development Bursary, to train with Attik Dance.
  • 2006 Arts Council England Grants for the Arts, self-fundraised for solo presentation at Phoenix Arts Association.
  • 2005 The Art House Morethan12 Bursary scheme, mentoring with Ruth Claxton and Max Andrews as part of ArtSway residency.

ESSAYS

  • 2015 Olivia Punnett, At The Still Point, AGC Gallery Catalogue essay. Reconfiguring the Ordinary Past.
  • 2010 a-n.org and Danceuk.org. A series of interviews about art and dance with Stephanie Rosenthal and Siobhan Davies.

PRESS/ PUBLICATIONS

  • 2018 Psycho, Broken Grey Wires Artist Book
  • 2005 The Guardian Guide. Preview and pick of the week
  • 2005 New York Arts Magazine. The St. Ives New School. July/ August, vol10, no 7 & 8 by Max Andrews, then Curatorial Assistant to Director, Tate and Curatorial Fellow Walker Art Centre Minneapolis.
  • 2005 Artsway: Alexis Zelda Stevens. Exhibition Catalogues (ISBN 0 9543930 58)

COLLECTIVES

  • 2017-20 Peer Social and intergenerational group of female artists over 35 who met on a SPACE development programme. Since supported by ArtQuest in association with Cubitt and currently Raven Row.
  • 2012-18 Stour Space studio member, Hackney Wick, East London.
  • 2006 Founder member of the Cornwall Visual Arts Forum planning committee

CURATING

  • 2016-18 Visual Art Producer, Green Man Festival. Project leadership including curation and installation of new large-scale works in light and digital media for a 4-day 20,000 capacity festival.

EDUCATION

  • 2009 Cert.H.E Dance Performance Studies, Birkbeck
  • 2004 BA Hons Fine Art, First, Falmouth College of Arts
  • 2001 ABC Foundation Diploma: Art and Design, Falmouth College of Arts.