Amy Stephens (b.1981 London) received an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, UK (2008) and a BA (Hons) Fine Art from the University of Reading, UK (2005).
Selected solo exhibitions include Land | Reland [Portland], Upfor Gallery, Portland. Oregon, US (2018); fig-futures, The Gundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, UK (2018); Retain, Reframe, Art Seen, Nicosia, Cyprus (2017); rock, paper, mountain, UV Estudios, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2016); fig2 35/50, ICA London (2015); Rocks Remember, William Benington Gallery, London, UK (2015); 'an oyster can’t read this', Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2015); Catching the Big Fish, Minibar, Stockholm, Sweden (2013); Collide, Poppy Sebire Gallery, London, UK (2012); This Urban Silence, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2011).
Selected awards include fig-futures, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, UK with Art Fund, Arts Council England and Outset Contemporary Art Fund (2018); Artists' International Development Award, Arts Council England and the British Council (2016); Villa Lena Artists' Residency, Tuscany, Italy (2015); Triangle Network Award to Muscat, Oman with Gasworks Gallery, London, UK (2013); Irish Museum of Modern Art Artists' Residency, Dublin, Ireland (2011); The Banff Centre, Artists' Residency, Banff, Canada (2010).
Amy Stephens has artwork in the following collections - Azam Collection, David Ross Foundation, Groucho Club Collection, John Jones Collection, Modern Forms Collection, Munster Collection, Irish Office of Public Works State Collection, The Grundy Art Gallery Collection, The Rothschild Collection, Soho House Collection, Villa Lena Foundation, Zabludowicz Collection.
Amy Stephens is a Trustee of the Royal Society of Sculptors and on the advisory board for Block Universe, an annual performance festival in London.
Amy Stephens reclaims objects and imagery from the native landscape. Predominantly intuitive, assemblages range from wood, plaster, metal, fabric and Perspex that are suggestive of urban living. Each material is carefully sourced, chosen and collected to create a precise balance and specific narrative. The simple elegance of the drawn line, collage and photography form the underpinning skeleton from which to make architectonic structures. Each work evolves through a series of stages, with successive layers gaining density until the final form emerges, coherent and cogent.
The artist’s process relies heavily on the appropriation of existing materials from previous artworks forcing the work to resist the finite. Stephens constructs geometric frameworks that respond to existing architecture, visual and literary influences.Throughout her work, there is a continuous movement from sculpture to architecture and then back to sculpture. As you walk around the objects and neighbouring imagery, architectural references are at play.
In recent work, mini hybrid totems support one another other accompanied by unframed photographs or objects that activate the very essence of the structure’s materiality. These artworks explore reductivist forms with industrial connotations played off against the natural wood and local imagery. A hint of the artist’s signature fluorescent tape is often strategically positioned to hold or wrap materials in place. Polaroids play a key role in her work offering a window onto the world of exteriors. The 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.