Each month one of our Directors chooses an art.earth member to become ‘Artist of the Month’. What follows is a conversation with that artist, together with some examples of his or her work.
Anna Chrystal Stephens
This month’s curator: Mark Leahy
What are you currently working on?
At the moment I am looking at fabrics designed for outdoors and survival purposes, and thinking about how survival equipment could be somehow imbued with knowledge of the outdoors. I am working on a series of objects which explore camping; historically and within contemporary contexts. Artifacts such as synthetic fire strikers, compact tools and paracord bracelets are not just practical but may be also totems for protection from the elements. I have a fascination with survival related ‘hacks,’ repurposed objects, a wax crayon becomes a candle, a drinking straw becomes a waterproof sleeve, or an arrowhead made from a circuit board. I’ve been making collections of these kinds of objects.
I am currently installing two fabric banners for ‘Some Kind of Language’ at The Albany in South London with Vulpes Vulpes, www.vulpesvulpes.org the collective I am part of. This is a short exhibition for Artlicks weekend: http://artlicksweekend.com/2017/events/kind-of-language/
The next event I have coming up is the book launch for the Site Gallery publication, A Sick Logic, with Glen Stoker. This will happen at Site in Sheffield at 1900hrs on 2nd November 2017.
“The book came from a quest to seek old knowledge and apply it to current problems. Through an exploration of how to exist as part of an integrated ecosystem, the book presents life-changing information about survival strategies and the experience of skills acquisition, as well as demonstrating how we can be part of a cross-disciplinary collaborative approach to making change.”
The book draws on the experience and research I carried out with Glen Stoker as part of a Platform residency at Site in Autumn 2016. We kept a blog for the project, http://asicklogic.blogspot.co.uk , which includes evidence of our research and documentation of activities. The publication gathers work from a range of practitioners, who contributed to the project. There is more information on the Site Gallery website here: http://www.sitegallery.org/sick-logic-anna-chrystal-stephens-glen-stoker/
In terms of my time in the studio, this Autumn/ Winter I am going to be working on a series of studio experiments both sculpture and processes, relating to camping. This will include some outdoor activity too which I will be documenting in some way.
Are there some writers or publications you would like to share with the art.earth family because they have particular importance for you as a maker?
Rebecca Solnit, Hope In The Dark (2004) http://rebeccasolnit.net/book/hope-in-the-dark-untold-histories-wild-possibilities/
Paul Kingsnorth and Dougald Hine , Uncivilisation: The Dark Mountain Manifesto (2009) http://shop.dark-mountain.net/uncivilisation-the-dark-mountain-manifesto
Richard Mabey, Food for Free (2012) http://richardmabey.co.uk/food-for-free/
David Graeber, Debt: The First 5000 Years (2011) https://www.mhpbooks.com/books/debt/
George Monbiot, Feral: Searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding (2013) http://www.monbiot.com/2013/05/24/feral-searching-for-enchantment-on-the-frontiers-of-rewilding/