“… an amazing opportunity to work with local and international artists in a small Icelandic community.” ~ Shasta Stevic
1. Can you share with us your background and how it relates to your artistic practice?
I have degrees in both science and law and have a very strong interest in social justice. When I was young I felt like I had to choose an academic or creative path and so chose the academic path, becoming a lawyer, but I felt that there was something missing from my life and realised it was a creative outlet.
In 2016, I attended the LungA School in Seydisfjordur, which was a place where I could explore this creativity and experiment with different artistic mediums.
Since then, in addition to continuing my own artistic practice, my brother (Caigan Meade) and I co-founded IntraLiminal, a project that showcases the work of talented young artists from the Bass Coast region of Australia, and we have curated a number of exhibitions featuring their work thanks to the support of the Bass Coast Shire Council.
2. Can you tell us more about your work?
My work is very contextual, taking inspiration from the environment I’m in, what I’m reading and what’s happening in the world at the time. I would describe it broadly as non-traditional storytelling, primarily through mixed-media installation. It is certainly influenced by my background in science and law and is an exploration of contemporary themes such as civilization, so-called technological and scientific advancement, the worrying divide between humans and nature, connectedness and community.
3. Why did you decide to join the Skammdegi Festival?
After spending time in Iceland at the LungA school in 2016, I knew I wanted to return and researched artist residencies here, coming across Skammdegi Festival, which looked like an amazing opportunity to work with local and international artists in a small Icelandic community.
I loved the idea of spending time in a small Icelandic town, working with and being inspired by artists from all over the world, and being able to share my work with the local community as part of a festival.
4. Is Listhús your first residency?
Listhús is my first residency.
5. Is Skammdegi Festival the first festival you participated in?
Skammdegi is my first festival.
6. How do you feel after living in Ólafsfjörður/Iceland for a month (December) so far?
I didn’t arrive until the end of December and have only been here for two weeks. It’s taken a bit of time to get used to the darkness and the time difference from Australia but I’m settling into a good routine.
7. What is your plan for the second half of Skammdegi, in January?
January will be focused on exploring Ólafsfjörður and, in the process, creating the work for the festival so there will be no significant travel beyond Ólafsfjörður during this time.
8. What are you going to create/present during Skammdegi Festival?
I will be working on two projects for Skammdegi with my brother Caigan Meade, who is currently living on Phillip Island in Australia.
The first is a simultaneous exploration of the heat and the light of the Australian summer and the dark and cold of the Icelandic winter. The fact that these two realities can occur simultaneously, on opposite ends of the planet is amazing to think about. It will be an ongoing conversation between Caigan and I during the course of the residency as we share information, emotions, and influences with each other. For the festival, it will take the form of a mixed media installation featuring video, audio and still photography from both locations.
The second will be an exhibition featuring the work of talented young artists from the Bass Coast region of Australia. Visitors will, in particular, be able to see the influence that growing up in a small town near the ocean in Australia has had on the work of these artists.
9. What is your plan for 2018?
Caigan and I will be exhibiting our work in Australia when I return and we have a number of IntraLiminal projects planned for 2018 including more exhibitions, a winter festival, and a music project. We are keen to continue providing young artists with opportunities to share their work and to encourage and support them in their creative practices.
Shasta Stevic is an artist and curator from Australia. Her work focuses primarily on non-traditional forms of storytelling and mixed-media installations, exploring themes such as civilization, progress, and the worrying divide between humans and nature.