Steph Carr

Steph Carr is a contemporary fine artist, who has just finished her degree at Sheffield Hallam University. Her work is both wonderfully conceptual and thought provoking, whilst still being beautifully executed. Her latest work is intricate and visually stunning, adding depth to the ideas behind each piece. In a time where contemporary artists are common, it’s rare to fine one with so much thought behind each piece, whilst still maintaining quality and visual effect. This is something that makes Steph special, and I urge you to see more of her. Here’s what she had to say:

Tell me about yourself as an artist

I’ve just graduated from BA Hons Contemporary Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University. I work with everyday domestic materials, commonly found and used in the home currently to create objects that change themselves from waste material to objects of desire that you want to return to the home. I have a fascination for that transformation stage, the moment something changes from rubbish to some form of spectacle, offering a new way of looking. Being hands on is really important for me, in everything I do I aim for the materials to remain honest and for there to be signs of the objects being handmade. Taking inspiration from the in between moments in our everyday lives, materials show themselves be it a pile of used teabags or discarded material the textures and colours found in these objects is what I take away to make something new. My work has a deep routed focus on perception of beauty and I aim to create things that we actively want in our homes and lives.

What are the influences and inspirations behind your latest works?

My latest work seen in my degree show ‘The Discarded Made Tangible (Sweepings)’ was a creation of wallpaper. We drink hundreds of cups of tea within the home each month and the overriding waste was impossible to ignore. I began collecting the used teabags and in the drying out process placed them onto paper, the pattern and colour left on the paper by the bag was so beautiful I took this and created a wallpaper design. After a battle trying to reproduce the pattern by hand on the paper it became clear a digital aid was needed so I used a combination of Photoshop help to create the design and hands on approach by screen-printing the design by hand on to lining paper. For the purpose of the degree show it was important for me to offer clues to the viewer as to what materials had been used, so I matched the pigments as closely as possible to a tea staining. There are many references that flood into this work; the main points are the amount we use and waste in our homes and also the possibilities of those waste materials. I feel that the use of tea offers many links dependant on the viewer; some have referenced the similarities to Victorian wallpapers and the importance of the tea trade in that period, some have noticed similarities to the Rorschach inkblot test that uses pareidolia (seeing things in abstract inkblot images) in an attempt to gain insight into a person’s mental state. For me, I want the viewer to feel they want to remove the piece from the gallery space and return it to the home, where the material was collected and used.

As a young artist, have you found it difficult to establish your own style?

I think for any artist the pressure to find ‘a style’ is always the black sheep in the room. For me, going through the motions of university has been the best way to find out what I am interested in and how I want to progress with my work. It seems to have come from nowhere really, but when you think about the amount of information you soak up being surrounded by other artists in the form of tutors, outside professionals and peers it all contributes to your way of working and thinking. In my final year something seemed to change, a focusing of ideas (maybe the pressure of the degree show contributed!) and putting a piece of work in to the gallery space as your final university piece spurs you on to push yourself. There are some amazing opportunities for creative in this country and I find inspiration in all media’s and areas, the main thing I would say to any young artist is to just keep going! Wherever you go and whatever you see you take something with you and all of these aspects come together to form your ‘style’. I am still learning and growing as I think every artist does and with every piece I make there is more that I would like to do to it and new ideas that arise from putting a realised work in to a space.

What are your thoughts on the British Art scene of today?

Some of my greatest inspirations have been from British artists; I find the work of artists like Deborah Bowness (www.deborahbowness.com) so beautiful and they push me in my own mind and practice to keep going with an idea and to keep perfecting it. Bowness takes everyday objects such as lamps or chairs and uses photographs of them to create wallpaper, this can completely transform a space and offers solutions for those with little space in the home. She has also got a very interesting project on the go ‘The Paper Trail’ that takes disused spaces on our streets and papers them, drawing attention not only to her work but to the tragedy of our British high street where shops are closing down every day and spaces are being wasted. There are so many inspirational artists around and they keep emerging as more and more creative arise from schools, universities and colleges. Another huge inspiration for me is Timorous Beasties, their mainly hand-printed wallpapers and designs are so grand and beautiful, they are well known for their contemporary take on the traditional ‘Toile De Jouy’ pattern of Napoleonic France however they recreate scenes in a similar style of modern cities.

What can we expect to see from you in future?

I’m not too sure what the future holds! I am interested in many mediums including illustration photography and craft so I hope to always be involved in something creative. In an ideal world I would love to continue working on designs for wallpapers, fabrics and other aspects of the home however I am not sure how this would be possible currently! I will always be a creative person and in one way or another I know this passion will filter through to all aspects of my life. If nothing else, I just hope to offer some form of inspiration to those who see my work. In a society where we have no focus on what we use or waste, as it is so readily available to us, I hope to elevate the potential of what is in front of us to a position of significance.

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To find out more about this young artist and her work, contact her via her email:  carr_stephanie91@live.co.uk

 

Alice Jacobs

Alice Jacobs graduated from Glasgow School of Art with BA in Fine Art: Sculpture and Environmental Art in 2012. She creates mesmerizing installations, changing perception of space and constructing new environments using light. She works with spatial transformations, altering surrounding architecture, objects and atmosphere.

Alice’s artworks convey important religious and philosophical questions. Her project “the body of light” relates specifically to Buddhist meditations, yet connecting to other religions through the idea of “inner light”. This sculpture, made of light and reflective qualities of water, is an attempt to materialize  inner intangible light into a visible presence.

“Separated from any image, natural light or gauge of the actual depth or length of the space, the audience is left looking at something that is there, yet without any perception of what it is that they are looking at. Something, but almost nothing at all.”

This artwork resonates with everyone on different levels. The purity of the message is so powerful, it almost pulls you in a meditative state. It connects with the deeper levels of consciousness, urging the viewer to look within himself.

Her past exhibitions include yours is a body light, The Beresford Gallery; The Art of Tea, Harry Barnes Building and RSA New Contemporaries 2013.

Alice is also a  co-founder of Flux Laser Studio, along with fellow GSA graduate, Philip Longstaff.

To see more of her works, visit www.alicejacobs.co.uk

Theo Vass

Vibrant line drawings, bold installations, architectural observations and spatial transformations challenge surrounding environment in Theo Vass’s practice. Theo graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with BA in Fine Art. His portfolio displays a wide range of works, including videos, projections, sculptures, prints and exquisite drawings. He makes site specific installations and works on collaborative projects, constructing new environments and new spaces.

Theo is a great example of contemporary all-round artists, collaborating across disciplines and successfully delivering his ideas in any medium. He investigates surrounding space, translating his observations into balanced geometrical compositions, demonstrating beautiful drawing technique. Space becomes a part of his work, he displays drawings and layers projections on top of surrounding objects. Artworks and objects blend together, forming an altered reality.

His recent projects include a site specific collaborative response to Cairns Street in Liverpool, where he and another 10 artists created artworks in response to the street, transforming the area and abandoned buildings, working with residents and setting up a drawing workshop.

To see more of his works, visit his website www.theovass.com

Sam Spreckley

Never ending contradiction and comparison between nature and technology has found new resolution in Sam Spreckley’s practice. His artworks are fresh ideas altering everyday reality in an unexpected direction.

Sam graduated with a Masters degree in Electronic Imaging from Duncan of Jordanstone, and is now based in Scotland. He is interested in the moving image, sound and animation, exploring the relationships found between sound and image. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally at film festivals and exhibitions, most recently in Greece as part of the European Young artists Biennial and also in the Moscow Museum of Modern Art.

His practice is inspired by biology and science, attempting to transform everyday items into mysterious objects. The featured video is based on the opposite elements- oil and water, two elements that will never mix. Combination of the two, merged with electronic sounds creates almost a mechanical structure. This surreal video is a skilfully made deceiving illusion, looking similar to a 3D animation it is hard to acknowledge the natural processes involved.

Sam turns natural elements into immersive artworks, synthesizing biological structures with machinery sounds. Exaggerating sensory perception and re imagining sounds of every detail, he creates an alternate sense of the natural world. This is another way of observing our reality, a rather uncommon looking glass that is focused on the processes existing in nature.

To find out more visit this website http://vimeo.com/samspreckley