Tuesday, 8 November 2011

New Studio Holder : Stephan Marshall

Stephen Marshall is an artist recently moved from Manchester, where he completed his Illustration degree specialising in Printmaking. His work is primarily drawing and print focused, most recently with largescale woodcuts and colour reductions. He has also produced lithographs and etchings.
His woodcuts were recently published in Varoom in an upcoming graduate feature. Juxtapoz magazine has described his work as "slightly off putting and wonderfully personal". He has exhibited throughout the UK as well as New York and Australia.

The work is large scale and full of details, with codes and private jokes inviting the viewer to step closer and be directly involved in his work. Exploring universal themes and the human experience through personal narratives, Stephen describes his work as "holding a mirror up to myself then turning it outwards". Including fragmented memories and references to previous pieces, often a badly placed joke or highlighted mistake will be used to distract the viewer from a self conscious subject.

The private moments are there for all to see and invoke a personal response in the viewer. Text  creates further imagery in the mind of the viewer, building up layers in the imagination to add to what is displayed on paper. Sometimes the text simply offers the viewer instructions to interpret the many layers of his work: clues to navigate the initial lack of order. 

Stephen prefers to talk about the work on an individual basis rather than a whole, and his new series of woodcuts work as pieces that stand alone as well as being part of a larger ongoing narrative. The woodcuts explore changes in situation and environment and the liberations and constrictions which accompany that. Stephen's recent work shows his developing interest in pattern and decoration and the aesthetics of mark making to communicate narrative, moving away from detailing the specifics of a subject.