fbpx

PROJECT 01: 60 Seconds with PROJECTS artist Stephen Nelson

11 January 2013—28 March 2013

59 Central Street PROJECTS

PROJECTS, a programme of quarterly exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Society’s home at 59 Central Street, showcases the work of artists drawn from our Artist Membership as well as guest artists selected by curators from our wider membership. PROJECTS complements the mission of the Contemporary Art Society to bring the work of new artists to a wider audience.

The Contemporary Art Society presented a playful intervention by one of our Artist Members, Stephen Nelson as the inaugural PROJECTS display at our new home. Nelson makes strange and highly personable objects and constructions, using a wide variety of salvaged materials selected for their colour, texture and character. Working with anything from sea worn plastic toys, clay pipes, wire, painted drift wood to cloth, carpet and leather, Nelson’s sculptures have an improvised and makeshift attitude, forming part of a curious world of ‘possible objects’ which defy critical context by reaching out through their physicality.

British artist Stephen Nelson makes strange and highly personable objects and constructions, often playfully domestic and comedic, using a wide variety of salvaged materials selected for their colour, texture and character. Working with anything from sea worn plastic toys, clay pipes, wire, painted drift wood to cloth, carpet and leather, Nelson’s sculptures have an improvised and makeshift attitude, forming part of a curious world of ‘possible objects’ which defy critical context by reaching out through their physicality.

The Contemporary Art Society spoke to Stephen Nelson about his installation of works at the Contemporary Art Society from 11 January – 28 March 2013.

How did you become an artist?
I didn’t know you could be an artist, I sort of fell into it. Taking ‘A’ levels the only thing I loved was art, then somebody mentioned doing a Foundation course for which I was accepted. I loved the experimenting and I met my first artist who was teaching, it seemed a cool life so I just kept going. Inspirational and encouraging teachers brought me here.

Where do you find the inspiration for your work?
My travels, the gutter, in the objects I collect and more recently journeys at low tide along the Thames. I am always looking.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m buying a few ready-mades and altering them. I’m in southern Italy and some of the things in the hardware store seem otherworldly to me.

If you hadn’t become an artist, what else would you be?
My careers advisor wanted me to do business studies, but I think without art I would be working in a factory, or given where I am from perhaps unemployed.

Which artists – living or dead – do you admire and why?
Hans Haake for making image and the political mean something. Simone Martini for his sensous lines, Francis Picabia for his sports cars and David Hammons because I wanna be as good as him.

Many artists have told us that encountering art in museums when they were young inspired them to become an artist. Is this true for you, and if so, can you share with us you recollections?
Going to Walker Art Gallery Liverpool with my father I wanted to own Simone Martini’s tiny, golden, shimmering and tender Christ Discovered in the Temple (1342), or make something just like it. My dad considered the Walker to be part of our Liverpool heritage, of course it holds the John Moores Painting Prize exhibition, I also saw early Richard Hamilton and Mary Martin exhibitions there. Modern and weird. It’s still one of the best museums ever.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I’ve been in the wolf enclosure and been amongst the wolf pack at Longleat.

March 2013

For office plan and information sheet click here (pdf)

For further information on Stephen Nelson click here

Subscribe

Stay up to date with the latest news and events and receive our monthly newsletter.

Subscribe

Support Us

Donations of all sizes help sustain emerging artists at the beginning of their careers and ensure that their work has inspirational impact on audiences across the UK