Land Reland, William Benington Gallery, Installation View (2018)
Amy Stephens reclaims objects and imagery from the native landscape. Predominantly intuitive, assemblages range from wood, metal and fabric that she considers to be suggestive of urban living. Each material is carefully sourced, chosen and collected to create a precise balance and narrative. A drawn line, collage and photography form the underpinning skeleton from which to make architectonic structures. The work evolves through a series of stages, with successive layers gaining density until the final form emerges, coherent and cogent.
Her process relies heavily on the appropriation of existing materials from previous artworks often forcing the work to resist the finite. There is a continuous movement from sculpture to architecture and then back to sculpture as Stephens looks to construct geometric frameworks that respond to existing buildings, visual and literary influences. This boundary between Art and Architecture (Artitecture) is blurred with works sitting somewhere between the real and the imagined. Using both natural and city scape materials, Stephens offers the viewer site specific ‘communicative landscapes’ that retain and later reframe contemporary architecture.
Amy is a fellow and trustee of the Royal Society of Sculptors. She received her MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Fine Arts (2008)and has done residencies in Argentina, Italy, Canada, Norway, Oman, Ireland and Reykjavik. Stephens has work in several public and private collections, including the Zabludowicz Collection and the OPW State Collection, Ireland.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
Land | Reland, Upfor Gallery, Portland, Oregon, US (2018)
Land | Reland, William Benington Gallery, London, UK (2018)
Fig-futures, Grundy Art Gallery, Lancashire, UK (2018)
Retain, Reframe, Art Seen, Nicosia, Cyprus (2017)
Paper. rock. mountain, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Arts Council England and British Council (2016)
fig2, 35/50 - Amy Stephens, ICA Studio in association with Outset Contemporary Art Fund, London, UK (2015)
Rocks Remember, William Benington Gallery, London, UK (2015)
‘an oyster can’t read this’, Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2015)
Patterns in the Chaos, William Benington Gallery, London, UK (2014)
If walls could dance, Cross Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2014)
A Light less Ordinary, Aldeburgh Beach South Lookout, Suffolk, UK (2013)
Catching the Big Fish, Minibar Artist Space, Sweden (2013)
Collide, Poppy Sebire, London, UK (2012)
Restless Nature, Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2011)
This Urban Silence, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2011)
Spatial Territories, La Scatola Gallery, London, UK (2011)
The Rise of the Wapiti, Banff Centre, Banff, Canada (2010)
Aestheticising the Inanimate, Islington Museum, London, UK (2010)
Latourell Falls, (2018)
Something. anything. everything, Archival pigment print, wood, wire
Each 57 x 40cm (2018)
Time At Hogchester Arts
Residency period - May 2021
Nestled in the Dorset countryside near Lyme Regis, but also a stone’s throw from the sea, Hogchester Arts is an inspiring, idyllic artist’s residency. The artist’s studio is located in a barn conversion on the Hogchester farm surrounded by pygmy goats, wild flowers and lush fields where rewilding is taking place. As a new mum of twins, it was a big relief knowing I could be on residency creating work but that my family could stay really close by in the village of Rousdon.
On arrival, I spent a couple of days walking the nearby beaches including Charmouth beach that offered an array of sea debris that would later be used within my practice. I also visited the Black Ven cliffs, an area well known as the ‘Ammonite pavement’, where tiny fossils are abundant and often visible when the tide is out. Once back in the artist’s studio, I spent time casting and photographing new objects but also working alongside fellow artist Chantal Powell. This was a great opportunity for exchange on both a practical and theoretical level.
This is a unique place. Apart from being a not for profit arts organisation focused on contemporary art practices, it is clear that Hogchester has a long-term vision regarding conservation and sustainability. There is a sense of peacefulness and working towards a greater good.