Avery Wheless | Debuting "Spinning Still"

LA-based artist Avery Wheless premieres new project

Written by

Maria Kyriakos

Photographed by

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Styled by

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On November 12th, guests and creatives alike were welcomed in to witness the artist and director Avery Wheless premiere her newest project, Spinning Still, in Los Angeles at Rusha&Co gallery. The film, inspired by Wheless’ formal dance background, paritcularly ballet, was projected from floor to ceiling in three respective areas throughout the widespread gallery. The film exuded a sensual yet sophistacted embrace of the physical art form, accompanied with a powerful original score by Niia Rocco that served as an exceptional addition to the piece, contributing to the dramatic elegance of the film.

Upon the debut of "Spinning Still", there was a captivating live performance orchestrated by dancers Cami Arboles, Adeola Heyman, and Eb, for Wheless’ solo exhibition at Seasons LA, titled, “So Does Everybody Else.” Wheless' aformentioned dance history was prevalent throughout the viewing, as the focus of the inspiration this glided seamlessly and beautifully throughout the exhibition. The dancers and the work itself highlights acrobatics, contortion, hand balancing as well as pole dance–synthesizing the elements of Wheless’ art and the performance together as one.

All photos courtesy of Bella Gadsby

Wheless explains, "We wanted to create a dialogue between paint and flesh by bringing moving, breathing bodies to interact with the painted work—creating a piece where a moment frozen in time joins the present through movement.” This continuity of movement from the paintings to in-person is a direct reflection of how mutually exclusive these works are intended to be. The scale of the female figures are representative in the capacity to capture the underlying notions and inspiration Wheless takes from ballet, specifically how purposeful and persistent they appear in her paintings. The direct passage of fluidity seeps into the film, almost creating a still-life but with human dancers, as they move so effortlessly across each other, perhaps emulating the discipline and precision that ballet often preaches.

Much like painting, there is a precision attached to movement, it cannot be sloppy and it cannot be restless–it constantly gives, without giving away too much. It is soft, but commands a presence that does not go unnoticed, but the opposite. It allows the female flow to take precedence, and is the main character of Wheless' artistic vision, pushing the boundaries of what the body can do, and how that supports as the vessel of these rhythmic actions. The pushing and pulling and the overall emotional plunge towards inertia is perhaps the articulate internal dialogue that escapes the continuous flow, allowing for audiences to question whether they are falling or floating. The rotation remains, and the ability to be propelled into wondering what is next, what is quietly lying around the corner, echoes profoundly in Wheless’ work.

"Spinning Still"

Director/artist: Avery Wheless

DP: Riley Lynch

AC: John Hanle


Cami Arboles

Anne Arellano


Adey Olaoluwa


Niia Rocco

Event beverages sponsored by:

Madre Mezcal


Lubanzi Wines

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Maria Kyriakos, Avery Wheless, Spinning Still, Rusha&Co, Art