about - stephenclover


Being something of a mudlark, as most children are, my interest in sculpture started amongst the damaged but useful rejects to be found in everyday household rubbish. Soon afterwards, I discovered the allure of treasure hunting amongst the flotsam and jetsam washed up at the seaside and that irresistibly cemented my fascination. The pleasure of finding battered, potential readymade art objects amongst unwanted, discarded ephemera had laid the foundation for an enduring fascination.

The postgraduate craft research programme at UCA Farnham provides opportunities for creatives wanting to dig deeper, of course. So, whilst exploring materiality and the development of contemporary abstract figuration in Ceramics, I took as my theme chance and random accidents. From a porcelain clay body I fabricated regular, structural 'I' beams and, while they were still mutably leather hard, I dropped them from different heights, filming the process and recording the results. The process employed could be regarded as 'accelerated entropy', where the outcome displayed degrees of physical disorder. After conducting each experiment, it became apparent that in addition to the production of a randomly distorted clay form, a cognitively dissonant emotional tension had at times emerged as well. There appeared to be a kind of anthropomorphic vulnerability displayed by some of the works.

Returning to my studio with this diffracting lens, I have allowed chance to make random alterations to contemporary interpretations of the figurative and, by introducing readymades (viz 'Solomon's Moon') and by including metals and plastics among the materials, I emphasise the surreal.