We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of New South Wales stands.

Leyla Stevens

Two gloved hands above a textile artwork depicting various scenes

Leyla Stevens Patiwangi, the death of fragrance 2021 (video still detail), Art Gallery of New South Wales © Leyla Stevens, photo: courtesy the artist

Experience a reimagining of Bali’s history, culture and natural environment

Leyla Stevens

2 November 2024 – 16 February 2025

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Naala Badu, our north building

Lower level 2


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Leyla Stevens is an Australian–Balinese artist whose films and photographs uncover alternative histories, including of people, rituals and objects connected to the Indonesian island of Bali. Developed through extensive research and community collaboration, her works carry a potent emotive charge in their sensitive yet affecting retellings.

In this exhibition, Stevens will present new multimedia work exploring Bali’s natural world, as told through an overlooked collection of Balinese ink paintings. The original works, made by artisans from the villages of Batuan and Sanur in the 1930s, depict the local landscape and supernatural beings known to dwell within mountains, ravines, forests and rivers. In response, Stevens’ digital animation and sonic composition will make visible the island’s environmental precarity as well as the local philosophies that could support its ecological preservation.

Co-curated by Artspace and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the exhibition is part of the Contemporary Projects series at the Art Gallery.

The Art Gallery of New South Wales gratefully acknowledges the support of Contemporary Projects patrons Andrew and Cathy Cameron.

Art Gallery of New South Wales support partner