Their Sea is Always Hungry is a solo exhibition by Australian-Balinese artist Leyla Stevens. Encompassing new works in video and installation, the exhibition explores the spectral trace of Indonesia’s 1965–66 anti-communist killings and the hidden histories that contest its position as an island paradise.
Their Sea is Always Hungry uses speculative and documentary modes of filmmaking to consider the impact of the silenced history of Indonesia’s 1965–66 mass violence in which a reported 80,000 people died in Bali alone. In counterpoint, the exhibition features a feminist retelling of the 1970s cult surf film, Morning of the Earth, which sold a vision of Bali as an exotic surfer paradise, particularly within the Australian imagination.
About Leyla Stevens
Leyla Stevens is an Australian-Balinese artist and researcher who works predominantly with moving image. Working within modes of representation that shift between documentary and speculative fictions, her work deals with a notion of counter histories and alternative genealogies. Stevens holds an MFA by Research from Sydney College of the Arts and since graduating in 2011 her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Past exhibitions and selections include: the 2018 John Fries Award at UNSW Galleries; BEAUT 19, Triennale of Unwhere, Brisbane, 2019; Of Love and Decomposition, Firstdraft, 2016; the 2014 NSW Visual Arts Fellowship (Emerging) at Artspace; and SafARI, 2014. She is currently undertaking doctoral research at the University of Technology Sydney, which has been supported in part by an Australian Postgraduate Award.
Initial research for this project has been supported through an Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship awarded by UTS. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. Their Sea is Always Hungry by Leyla Stevens is powered by Lūpa, a media player for art galleries. More information at lupaplayer.com. Equipment assistance provided by UNSW Galleries.