7 days in the studio

Stephen Nolan is a multimedia artist living and working in the Republic of Ireland

 Working through a variety of mediums Stephen’s new work has returned to his love of painting and drawing.  In this body of work he slices and dissects sources found in and amongst the detritus of the studio… constantly reworking old paintings and ideas as both an aid to memory and a way of allowing new ideas to form; he embraces the encounter of accidental images, objects and texts gleaned from the culture that he seeks to depict. 

 Stephen invites the awareness of ‘not knowing’ aiming for a point of synthesis to emerge between the artist’s mind and the forms developing on the studio wall.  At it’s core the paintings, both completed and unsuccessful that inhabit the studio are an area ripe for cultivation - raking through old seeds of thought and allowing new questions to emerge.

  Inspired by Hodgkin, Stephen likes to work on multiple paintings simultaneously, inviting a breakdown of meaning with the intent of questioning cultural notions within the framework of history - ‘as history is constantly in flux we must employ a process similar to the ploughing of a field’ and we must continue to question the role of society and that of our own minds in the formation of that coherent narrative. 

 Stephen’s investigation into recurring themes of a shared history as told through architecture are evident in these works, portraying life and death through the buildings and spaces that we leave behind.  Through the universal language of collage and the hand made he explores notions of economic justice and examines the tensions that are present in the built environment that surrounds us. 

 Especially influenced by the expressionist movements of the pre war period and the wild aesthetic of the European Fauvist movement, Stephen looks to communicate something immediate about the world today through the use of bold colour and expressive form that was used so effectively by the artists of that time.