Falling somewhere between reality and fiction my work explores the mystery of certain landscapes in provincial England, places loaded with histories and associations (some barely perceptible or ‘only in the eye of the beholder’, some immersive and inescapable).I draw on locations possessed by occult atmospheres or attributes, or associated with myth and legend (imbued with past narratives); a stone circle or haunted coastline perhaps, or the middle of nowhere—which we may understand as being most definitely somewhere. I am interested in places that are in some way persuasive, with qualities that may not be immediately identifiable or explicable.
The aim of the work is to engage with such locations in both a contemporary and historical context through a process of reimagining, and in this way the paintings become an interpretative mirror or filter: an investigation of the condition of place / landscape and the peculiarities of Englishness from both a personal and shared historical vantage point.
It is hoped the resulting images are perhaps latent landscapes; the reverse or underside of the superficial view enabling place / landscape to reveal itself anew.
Stephen is an MA graduate of Central St Martins and lives and works in Hackney, East London.