About Renee

Choosing assignment #52 “Write the phone call you wish you could have” from Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July’s project ‘Leaning to love you more’ Harrell Fletcher and Renee Bevan each transcribe their first imagined conversation. Below is Renee’s imagined version of events.

“Hi Harrell. Yes really nice to meet you and thank you so much for participating in this project and accepting my request to be my mentor. I’m really looking forward to engaging with you through this process – Thank you…. (I say thank you many times and then go on to ask Harrell how his day has been. I talk about how much I enjoy his work, we then go on to talk a bit about Handshake… more imagined conversation takes place but for the sake of needing an introduction for this text I stop my imagined wanderings and get straight back to the imaginary ‘introductory’ task at hand)… Arh about my work… Yes I have a workshop at home; building it was a bit of a family effort, my Grandpa worked on it everyday for months, its out in the back garden (I have to stop again – I’m sidetracking… I have a habit of doing this)… Yes about my work. Ummm. Summing this up seems difficult – it kind of sits in my mind as the stuff that I’ve done and the things I want to do. I pause for a moment and then decide that the done ones are properly best said without words and instead through pictures – after all that’s what its all about, making pictures… I was just thinking maybe I show you pictures of what I have done… suddenly this imaginary conversation turns to a Skype call which enables pictures to run along the screen… images flash by of Bill wearing the Blooming Big Brooch, the Daisychain, The Lost & Found collection, me wearing Martin wearing the brooch… that’s some older work… I then go on to show him The Renee Bevan necklace, Au, Parting Breath, an idea, wearing myself as a bracelet, Stream of thoughts… this is the newer stuff… Oh and this stuff happened in-between… Big world little world, what you see is what you get, Lighthearted, The hug collector… (We likely get into a bit of conversation here but I cannot imagine what Harrell might ask?)… So that’s what has happened already… what has laid the foundation towards what might come next… You see for a couple of years now my thoughts have been consumed with this idea of making work that’s alive… I guess this is why I like collaboration, performance, shared authorship, exchange, work that can be activated. This is also why I enjoy photography as a medium – because it documents, captures and freezes life… This too would explain my interest in other media like moving image, performance and participatory, relational projects – They all capture, document, highlight life – These are all things that draw me to your work – that it is alive, that it is happening, that it is life – that when you think about the art of social practice you realise it is happening even when its not in the gallery. You realise these things are happening everyday and maybe its about seeing them? That everyday social exchange occurs, in every moment ‘culture is happening’ – that people are doing interesting things and that things are happening in the world… Martin Creeds work has a similar effect on me. The lights going on and off and the runners at the Tate. The allure in all these things is the fact that they are alive – that the work is constantly making itself, that the work is life itself, that some of these works are performed in front of you and that they keep happening/keep living/keep moving when you leave…

The sound that echoes back through the line is the sound of a new yet familiar voice. As if discovering someone who speaks fluently in a language I am trying to learn to speak. I smile. How lucky I am to have the opportunity to talk to someone who can understand what it is that I am trying to say.

Mah Rana once said, ‘Jewellery is life’. I want to put life in my jewellery…

The conversation stops.

I decide to stop the imaginary chat here – to wait to hear what Harrell might say.

To start it up again another day.

Another day but this time in ‘real life’

And this time see what ‘real life’ might throw back.


Renee Bevan graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the University of Auckland in 2002. She currently lives and works in Auckland.

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