Tasmanian musician and artist Dean Stevenson is on a deadline. A new project—4pm—will see Dean create and perform a new musical work each day at the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona).
From Friday 16 July, Dean will start each morning afresh, composing and testing new music throughout the day. Come 4pm, it’s lights up: Dean must cease his tinkering and the stage is set for the arrival of a quartet who will perform the results of Dean’s handiwork, whatever they may be, each afternoon.
Over the course of the project, Dean will be joined by an exciting and ever-changing roster of local musicians, including members of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the Mona Ensemble and other talented freelance artists, to bring his daily compositions to life.
The creative process is made part of the performance, with Dean ensconced in a studio within the museum’s galleries. Visitors will witness the artist at work as Dean attempts to create an original piece of music each day, ready for performance that same afternoon. The final product will be filed away when the museum closes, leaving Dean with a blank page once again.
Of the project, Dean Stevenson says: “As an artist, I’m interested in what does and doesn’t get finished. This process of working under pressure will test my own claims of ever really ‘finishing’ a composition.
Who’s to say how each day might play out come 4pm? With a bang or a whimper? Either way there will be music.”
Jarrod Rawlins, Director, Curatorial Affairs, Mona, says: “Dean’s creativity knows no bounds—so we thought we’d enforce some. I for one am looking forward to watching him suffer for his art while the clock counts down.”
Dean Stevenson’s 4pm runs from 10am–5pm, Friday through Monday, from Friday 16 July. Dean’s residency follows musician and songwriter Ben Salter, who has been writing and creating music in his Import Export studio on site since Mona’s reopening on Boxing Day 2021.