Steve Hawley is an artist who has been working with film and video since 1981, and his work has been shown at video festivals and broadcast worldwide since then. His video The Science Mix (with Tony Steyger) was shown at the Stedelijk and MoMA NY in 1983 as part of the Second Link, the first international touring video art show. His original preoccupation was with language and image, and We Have Fun Drawing Conclusions, about children's books and language acquisition, was one of the first video art pieces broadcast on Channel 4. In 1995 his experimental documentary Language Lessons made with Tony Steyger on artificial languages was broadcast on Channel 4 TV, and purchased for the permanent collection of Fundacio La Caixa, Barcelona.
More recently his work has looked at new forms of narrative, in such works as Love Under Mercury, his first film for the cinema premiered at the Rotterdam Film Festival,, which won a prize at the Ann Arbor film festival, and Amen ICA Cinema 2002, a palindromic video which won the prize for most original video at the Vancouver Videopoem festival. Ghost, made in Hong Kong as part of a residency at the Microwave Video Festival was screened at Cannes Director's Fortnight in 2000.
He has explored issues around the impact of new technologies on narrative. Yarn 2011, uses the DVD medium to create a never ending story, "Samuel Beckett meets fridge magnet poetry", and Actor 2013 makes film without a camera by putting the performer in a motion capture suit.
Manchester Time Machine 2012, made with the North West Film Archive was the first iPhone app to combine archive film footage and GPS and is part of a project looking at the nature of the city, including Not to Scale 2009 (filmed in a series of model towns). He co-edited and contributed to the Intellect book. Imaging the City – art, creative practices and media speculations with his chapter. Manchester as a mythical city.
His work with the Archive has also included War Memorial 2017 which was nominated for best short documentary at the Sheffield DocFest, and the recently completed Mancunia with poet Michael Symmons Roberts, using poems from his poetry cycle about the city to create a new city symphony.
A long collaboration with the Archive recreating screenings of the Calling Blighty films (unique filmed messages home from Burma in WW2) has led to his book, Men, War and Film, to be published by Intellect in 2022. A detailed story and analysis of the Calling Blighty series of films made in Burma and India towards the end of the second world war, the book shows these to be remarkable and moving documents, a kind of one-way Skype of their day, where men sent messages home to be shown in local cinemas to families and sweethearts. Of the 400 films made, 60 survive, and these are the first ever films where men speak openly in their regional accents, and have profound meaning for remembrance, documentary representation, and the ecology of film in wartime
He returned to his work on language after 40 years with Speech 2019, and Broken English, Brexit Vanitas 2021, a reflection on Brexit and Englishness. He is presently collaborating with artist Steve Dutton on a feature length film, Art School, based around the sociology book Art Students Observed published in 1973. They have traced the students observed in the Midlands art school "Midville" and interviewed them 50 years later, to fully capture the vivid picture of artists caught at the very moment in history where romantic and conceptual tendencies clashed.
Film/videography – exhibitions
2020 Mancunia, poetry film of Manchester, with Poet Michael Symmons Roberts. Home Manchester, 9th International Video Poetry Festival, Athens.
2018 Speech, Alternative Film/Video Festival 2018 Belgrade
2017 War Memorial premiered at Sheffield DocFest 2017. Nominated for Best Short Documentary Award. Kerala international Documentary Festival 2017
2014 We Have Fun Drawing Conclusions (1981) included in New Contemporaries Moving Image 2010 to 2016 Produced to coincide with New Contemporaries' 65th anniversary, this compilation selected by world-renowned artists Ed Atkins, Harold Offeh and Catherine Yass
2015. South Home Town (withTony Stegyer) premiered at New York Independent Film Festival Oct 2015 and screened at Southampton International Film Festival Oct 2015; nominated best editing, cinematography
2014 Possession 2 Actor (video installation) and Won’t Lovers Revolt Now at Lanchester Gallery Projects Coventry.
2013 Possession Actor (video installation) at Bangkok Arts and Cultural Centre.
2012 Manchester Time Machine iPhone app created with the North west Film Archive combining GPS with archive film footage
2011 Actor International Anthony Burgess Centre Manchester. Film made using motion capture suit, about the lost final chapter of Burgess’s Clockwork Orange.
2010 Yarn Australian International Experimental Film Festival (generative cinema installation)
2009 Sheffield Pavilion Istanbul Biennale (curated DVD, includes Not to Scale)
2009 Barnum Effect/Not to Scale Lanchester Gallery Coventry
2008 Not to Scale HD video installation, Bloc Artspace Sheffield
2007 Barnum Effect HD video National Review of Live Art, Tramway, Glasgow.
2005 Similar to Nothing (with Steve Dutton). Video funded by AHRC. S1 Salon Sheffield 2005. Lausanne Underground Film Festival 2005. Best of LAUFF Zurich 2005.VAD Digital Arts Festival Girona, Spain, 2005 (Special Mention). POST, Residence Gallery London 2005.
2004 Speech Marks. Video shot on mobile phone,. VAD Digital Arts Festival Girona 2004 (Special Award Prizewinner). Chroma 2004 Mexico City. San Francisco Art Institute 2005.Cosmic Zoom Festival Copenhagen 2005. Videoformes Clermont Ferrand France 2005. 11th Biennale Image en Mouvement Geneva 2005. International festival of Cinema and Technology. Various international venues 2006. Filmmobile Conference and exhibition London 2008.
2004. The King of Karanga. Video. Host, Showroom Cinema Sheffield, Falmouth Arts Centre 2004. Arau Switzerland One Minute Film and Video Festival 2005.
2003 EUROSCREEN 21. Video, part of pan European Euroscreen 21Commissions from 21 artists. Forum of Art, Emmerich, Germany. Fournos Centre Athens, several other venues.
2002 Amen ICA Cinema 10 minVideo Lovebytes Festival Sheffield 2002. Hull International Short Film festival 2002. Brno 16 Film festival, Czech Republic, 2002. Vancouver Videopoem Festival Canada 2002 (award winner, most innovative video). Off Cinema International film Festival Poznan, Poland 2002. Rencontres Paris-Berlin 2003. U.K.Canadian Film and Video Exchange, South London Art Gallery 2003 Sonar Festival Barcelona 2003 Geneva Biennale Image en Mouvement 2003 Rencontres Internationales Paris-Berlin. Podewil Cinema Berlin 2004
2001 Lost in Space. Video installation and photographic panels. Part of Province, group exhibition of artists from Sheffield and Bilbao jointly curated with Melanie Jordan. Mappin Art Gallery Sheffield Feb 2001, BilboArte Gallery Bilbao Spain May 2001
2000 Love Under Mercury. funded by ACE. 35 minute 16mm film.
Experimental narrative about science, transformation , and tragedy. Lux Cinema London July 2000. Telluride International Experimental film festival Oct 2000. Rotterdam Film Festival Feb 2001
Ann Arbor Film Festival 2001 (award- highly commended). Dahlonega International Film Festival USA 2001. Image Forum Festival Tokyo 2001. 13th Onion City Film and Video Festival Chicago 2001. Geneva Image en Mouvement 2001 Transmediale Berlin 2002
1998 Ghost 6 min.Video commissioned by Videotage for the Hong Kong Microwave Video festival. Gweilo (Ghost man) is Cantonese slang for white man- also the ghost of colonialism
Bandits-Mages, Bourges, France 1999. Thaw Festival Iowa, USA 1999. Videoformes, Clermont-Ferrand, France 1999. Festival Video D’Estavar-Llivia, France 1999.Antimatter Underground Short film and Video Festival, Victoria B.C. Canada 1999 Rencontres Video Art Plastique Caen Nov 99 Director's Fortnight,Cannes Film Festival 2000. Homeport Rotterdam 2001. Experiments in Moving Image, Old Lumiere Cinema London 2004
1998 Stone Troupers. (with Jonathan Allen). Commissioned by Lovebytes/Photo 98
Public video installation in central Sheffield. Faces from the community projected on four stone heads high up on a listed building, for six weeks.
1996 Human and Natural History. 6 min. Video art. 16mm film onto video. Barcelona Marato de Espectacle 1996 Yorkshire Cable TV 1996 Video Festival de Los Canarias 1996 New York Video and New Media Festival 1996 Glasgow New Visions 1996 Experimenta Media Arts Festival Melbourne 1996 Brussels Semaine De Videos 1996 10eme Video Arts Plastiques Caen, France 1996 Bacchanal Film Festival San Francisco 1997 Videoformes Clermont-Ferrand 1997 Videokunstpreis Germany 1997 SWF German TV broadcast 1997 SF2 Swiss TV broadcast 1997 Microwave Video Festival Hong Kong (Artist in residence) 1997 Still; St. Constantin Church London 2004
1995 The Man From Porlock 33 min. Video art/experimental narrative. Video Positive Liverpool 1995, National Film Theatre 1995, Video Art Plastique Caen 1995, Showroom, Sheffield, 1995 International Video Festival Friesland 1996, Videographic Festival Bilbao 1996 VideoFormes Festival Clermont-Ferrand 1996
1994 Language Lessons 35 min. Experimental documentary on artificial languages commissioned by Channel 4 and the Arts Council. Video Art Plastique, Caen, France 1994. Excerpts broadcast Canal Plus television France 1995. Video Festival de los Paises Catalanes 1995. Sheffield Documentary Festival 1995. Broadcast Channel 4 Midnight Underground 1995, International Video Festival Friesland 1996, Videographic Festival Bilbao 1996 5th New York Video Festival 1996
Toronto Film Festival 1998 On Translation Fachochschule Dortmund 2003
1992 A Proposition is a Picture 23 min. Video art/experimental narrative. London Film Festival 1992. Australian Video Festival 1993. Video Positive Liverpool 1993. Geneva video festival 1993. Broadcast SBS Australian TV 1993. Viva 8 festival London 1994. Broadcast BNV TV Spain 1994. National Film Theatre 1995. ICA 3rd Biennial of Film and Video 1995. WRO festival WroclawPoland 1997 ICA London 1998
Another Look at Geography 10 min, video art/experimental narrative. Australian Video Festival 1993. Broadcast SBS Australian TV 1993.
1990 Trout Descending a Staircase 1min. video art. Commissioned by BBC 2's The Late Show and the Arts Council. Broadcast BBC2 1990. British Council Touring exhibition 1992. San Francisco International Film Festival 1992. Sao Paolo Festival Brazil 1993. German video art prize 1994. Broadcast VPRO TV Holland 1993, Meisterstein TV Germany 1993, Sudwestfunk TV 1994, Le Sept French TV 1994, Channel 4 Schools TV 1995, SBS TV Australia 1995. Kurzfilmwoche Regensberg 1995
Or Even What Leaving Was. 10 min. Video by performance artist Anne Seagrave, funded by the Arts Council. Shot and edited by Steve Hawley.
1988 Suit of Lights. 10 min, video. A collaboration with performance artist Rose Finn-Kelcey, funded by the Arts Council. Camera and editing, Steve Hawley.
1987 The Chemistry Set 11 min, video art. A collaboration with Tony Steyger, commissioned by Illuminations, the Arts Council, and Channel 4. National Film Theatre 1987.
Trout Descending a Staircase (long version) 5 min, video art. Broadcast Canal Plus TV, France 1989. Permanent collection M.O.M.I. The South Bank.
1986 One Shot Jack 5 min, video art. Collaboration with Tony Steyger. Featured on LVA compilation, "Music video, or video music".
1985 Surfing on the Short Waves 20 min, video. Collaboration with dancer Tim Buckley, musician Blue Gene Tyranny, and video artist Steve Littman, commissioned by the ICA. I performed in the performance based on the video at the ICA for a week in 1985.
1984 On and Off the Maps. Two screen video/music performance. Collaboration with composer Jane Wells commissioned by the Bracknell Music Festival and funded by Southern Arts and the Arts Council. Also presented at the Brighton Music Festival
On and Off the Maps. Video installation based on the original performance. Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, and the ICA.
1983 The Dictionary. 25 min video art. Produced while video fellow at North East London Polytechnic. Saw Gallery, Ottowa, and various galleries in Britain.
The Science Mix 5 min video art. Collaboration with Tony Steyger. Second Link touring video exhibition , MoMA New York, Stedelijk Amsterdam, ICA London, Berlin Film Festival. Barcelona Santa Monica gallery 1997+
Glory. 20 min video. By Rose Finn-Kelcey.Camera and editing Steve Hawley. San Sebastian Film Festival and elsewhere. 100 years of Experimental Film, Tate Britain 2003
1982 Bad Reasons. 20 min video art. Broadcast Channel 4 1985 as part of the programme Video 123. Broadcast WGBH Boston TV. Kitchen, New York. The Extent of Three Bells. 5 min video art. Broadcast Channel 4 1985 as part of the programme Video 123.
Videotapes are in the permanent collections of Fundacio la Caixa Barcelona, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, The Museum of the Moving Image London, Banff College Canada, The British Council, the Arnolfini gallery Bristol, the Midland Group, Spectro Gallery, and the universities of Coventry, Brighton, and Sheffield Hallam