Stephen Park

The Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World hosts Stephen Park‘s work at The Innovation Centre, University of Exeter from 31 May to 2 September 2016. The centre is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Stephen Park was born in Edinburgh in 1962, grew up in Newcastle and now lives in Devon.

While attending Goldsmiths College he was included in the New Contemporaries at the ICA London.  He graduated from Goldsmiths with a First class honours in 1985, and the same year was included in a group show at the Serpentine Gallery.  In 1987 he gained a Higher Diploma in Sculpture from the Slade School London. The following year he exhibited at Canary Wharf with Gary Hume, Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas, Michael Landy and others in Freeze.   

In 1992 he was awarded the Henry Moore Fellowship at the Slade, which was extended for him the following year. He has subsequently exhibited in the UK and abroad.

Stephen says about this work:

‘This series of drawings is the outlet for unresolved and fragmented activity that originated in sketch books. They began as an endless series of designs with each motif having no particular brief other than to become something that might look purposeful as a rubber stamp. (‘Misterioso’ was the third to be completed in this manner). Inevitably I started to play with the scale and complexity and to ‘cross-pollinate’ shapes, which now sometimes coagulate to resemble landscapes. I paint directly onto the paper without preparation or intermediary marks.

I do not consciously observe nature, rather I am involved in a kind of shape-improvisation which requires me to remain alert and to avoid falling into unconscious or repetitive doodling (I was more relaxed about this making ‘Panonica’). The preponderance of ‘biomorphic’ shapes was not primarily an aesthetic decision, although I consciously decided not to exclude them.  I am aware of a heavy reliance upon bilateral symmetry, which I think is to do with efficiency in my drawings as it it in nature.  If one side of a shape is satisfying it is twice the effort to design the other side from scratch than it is to make both sides the same.’


 

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