Gavin Evans Biography
Photographer Gavin Evans is renowned for his individual take on photography. His work has been reproduced in a multitude of publications including the New York Times, The Guardian, The Observer, The Sunday Times, Vogue, Time Out and Tempo magazine.
Evans’ photographs have featured in and on the covers of books and biographies of subjects such as David Bowie, Carlos Acosta and Iggy Pop. He has received commissions from Amnesty International, ActionAid, Film4, 4Creative and the BBC. Evans has produced powerful images when working with those from the world of music, film and theatre - Björk, Nick Cave, Daniel Craig, Terry Gilliam Gary Oldman, Sir Ian McKellen, Annie Lennox, Gore Vidal, Harvey Keitel and David Bowie are some of the many luminaries to come under his focus. His interest in theatre and the performing arts has always been at the fore of his work. The National Theatres of London and Scotland, The Bristol Old Vic, De La Guarda, Cirque Archaos, DV8, Robert LePage, Rufus Norris, Tom Morris and Romeo Castellucci have sought his talent. Saddlers Wells commissioned Evans to create the poster of The Pet Shop Boy’s ballet ‘The Most Incredible Thing’. The 2006 Venice Dance Biennale poster featured his image created for choreographer Javier De Frutos.
In 1993 Evans embarked on ‘dis’, an ambitious collaboration with 10 internationally published and renowned writers. Arthur Miller, Yengenij Reine and Nobel Prize winners Wole Soyinka and Joseph Brodsky took up the challenge to create original text to accompany Evans' images. The artworks he produced examined the power of information. Human rights issues and personal reflections about torture, control, persuasion, subjugation, enslavement, deceit, lies, and childhood were explored. ‘dis’ was exhibited at Glasgow's Kelvingrove Museum and featured in Fotofeis; the first international touring collection Scottish contemporary photography.
In 1996 Gavin Evans initiated ‘touch’ a project investigating the theme of personal space that continues to evolve. His images have featured in group exhibitions at MoMA, The V&A and The British Library and his film works ‘Diving’ and ‘The Audition’ have premiered at Summerhall, Edinburgh. Fergus Linehan, director of The Edinburgh International Festival, commissioned Evans in 2015 to visually re-brand the EIF. Striking portraits of 8 renowned artists including; Juliet Binoche, Ivan Fischer, Simon McBurney and Anne Sophie Mutter spearheaded the EIF campaign. Evans resides in Berlin.
Gavin Evans- Artists Statement
The ‘portrait’ came to be a reoccurring theme throughout my practice. Here I’m at odds with my contemporaries. I refuse to perpetuate stereotyped ideals of beauty or gender. I do not subscribe to the doctrine that the portrait captures the essence of the subject in one immaculate shot- I possess no powers of divination. The subject is the manifestation of the photographer- both personalities reside within the frame. My portraits and Biopic series refute the dogma of ‘one defining image, one decisive moment, one truth’.
‘Singularity’ is employed in my project Diving as a method to deliver an uninterrupted chain of events; one artist, one subject, one camera, one light, one musician. Diving is film composed for music comprising nine silent cinematic movements. Each ‘movement’ is a portrait in slow-motion of an individual who has undergone extreme, often unimaginable, life changing experiences. HIV, addiction, violence, trauma and paralysis are some of the issues explored. Diving is accompanied live by a musician who conveys the emotions as they unfold onscreen; film and music are both intrinsic and inextricable.
Throughout Diving the unquestioned trust between artist and subject unlocks moments of profound intimacy as suppressed or harboured emotions surface. These shared moments engage the audience in catharsis, reassurance or self-reflection.
Touch, an ongoing study of ‘personal space’ and boundaries began in 2005. The subject, without instruction or direction, places my hand in the frame and in doing so illustrates their ‘cultural and psychological limits of connectedness’. Extensive case studies of groups such as Glasgow’s homeless and India’s ‘Other Backward Classes and Untouchables’ have revealed remarkable collective characteristics and commonalities. Social and cultural attitudes towards the body, voyeurism and nakedness are exposed in Naked Touch. Throughout Touch the convention that the photographer should remain inconspicuous is contravened as I am present in every image leading the viewer into the frame.