Approved: 30.11.2018

Stephen Calcutt

Artist, Digital designer, Film-maker, Maker

Approved: 30.11.2018

I studied a BA in Health Studies (2:1) and an MA in Visual Communication (with distinction). I am a multimedia artist - my artwork explores psychological health and anti-social behaviour, through the isolation and detachment of anxiety and depression, to the beauty that can be found in physical destruction.

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News

     

    Thoughts

       

      Artist Statement

      I studied a BA in Health Studies (2:1) and an MA in Visual Communication (with distinction). I am a multimedia artist - my artwork explores psychological health and anti-social behaviour, through the isolation and detachment of anxiety and depression, to the beauty that can be found in physical destruction.

      As a fine art photographer, my photographic artwork is rooted in my unique form of street photography that is a consequence of frequenting bus stops and shelters around the City of Birmingham. Graffiti can be great art; however, I feel the graffiti scratched into the plexiglass windows of the bus stop feels like a violation. I have yet to see any of these etchings that look great in their own right. The graffiti etched and scrawled in the bus stop windows seem to be expressions of frustration, anger, love or hate. However, unlike its cousin the more colourful graffiti that is emblazoned across the walls of buildings and is often seen as art, it is very mundane. I feel a window’s full potential as a clear barrier between yourself and the elements is compromised when the view beyond is obscured, distorted and blurred by the scratches

      However, the resulting images are very dynamic and often vibrant. There is a metamorphosis, the mundane graffiti and the often-mundane view are merged into a fresh new image.

      I use the graffiti-etched windows as a lens. I merge the graffiti and the view beyond, focusing my camera on the etched lines, putting the view beyond out of focus. The graffiti and view are merged into a single plane. I create a new perspective that retains and emphasises the energy of the graffiti. Its swirls, zigzags, lines and curves, slash across the abstracted view like paint strokes. At first glance, the photos can be mistaken for abstract paintings. Then closer inspection reveals they are in fact photographs.

      The subject matter that is out of focus is also mundane. Often when waiting for a bus, the view is not particularly exciting. The human activity I like best to capture is not very dramatic. When combined with the mundane graffiti and the mundane view it adds to my desire to create an image that ordinarily would be uninteresting or unnoticed. Even the title of each work is mundane, the descriptions of each photograph are also very droll.

      The feeling of detachment I create for the viewer of my photographs is also symbolic of the feelings invoked by anxiety and depression.

      I am attracted to the paradox that my work invokes. I make unique beautiful images out of the vandalised bus stop windows. I love the images I produce. However, I don’t condone the vandalising of the bus stop windows that provide the lens for my work.

      The Bus Stop series is a unique approach to photography. Bus Stop brings the current social issue of a specific form of vandalism to the fore. It is a product of modern vandalism. Vandalism that has found the Plexiglass windows of bus shelters an ideal medium to express feelings. Although my work has so far been derived from the City of Birmingham, it is an issue familiar to

      the many people of all ages who travel by bus in urban and rural settings across the UK. My photography challenges people to look at the issue of vandalism. From the protagonists to the observers of their markings. It also challenges people to see the potential beauty in mundanity.

      The Bus Stop series of photography is also part of my project BuStopia. BuStopia is an art installation /fashion show.

      CV & Education

      Exhibitions

       

      Gradcurate

       

      Summer 2020 Exhibition

       

      21st August  2020 - 21st  September

       

       

       

      Bustopia

       

      Art installation /fashion show

       

      Direct art Action Gallery

       

      7th March 2020

       

       

       

       

      Open Projection 3: Chiaroscuro - Curated by Martin Green

       

      15th November 2019

       

      Coventry Cathedral

       

      Direct Arts Action Gallery

       

      September 2018 – March 2020

       

       

      For the Love of Art-1 2018

      The Anchor Gallery

       

      21st September  - 18th  October  2018

       

       

      The Other Art Fair Bristol 2018

       

      27-29 July2018

       

      Brunels Old Station, Bristol

       

       

      The London Group Open 2017

       

      8th -17th November 2017. Cello Factory, Waterloo, London.

       

       

      RWA 165 Annual Open Exhibition 2017

       

      1st October -3rd December 2017

       

      The Royal West of England Academy,

      Queen's Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1PX

       

      It’s Art Call 2017

      18 -26th August. Group Exhibition (Selected Artists) The Cult House. D Contemporary Gallery Mayfair London.  

       

      The Orangery Gallery

      Minley Manor, Surrey. Private party, three artists exhibition.

      22nd July 2017.

       

       

      London International Art Competition

      30th May – 9th June 2017 HLS Gallery.

       

       

       

       

       

      Awards and recognition

       

      International Photographer of the Year 2017 Honorable Mention  https://iphotographeroftheyear.com/winners-gallery/ipoty-2016/amateur/street/show/hm/1927

       World Street Photography Awards 2016  Special Mention https://www.kujaja.com/en/photo-competitions/winner/street-photography-competition-5-of-9-2016

       

       

       

      Media

      These are some of the main news, magazine and blogs that have featured my work.

      FUSED Magazine Autumn 2017 http://www.fusedmagazine.co.uk/fused-magazine-autumn-issue-now/

      Urban Contest Magazine September 2017 https://www.urbancontest.com/photography/bus-stop-quando-le-fermate-dell-autobus-si-trasformano-in-arte

      Collateral Italian Arts blog July 2017 https://www.collater.al/en/bus-stop-stephen-calcutts/

      ARTICULATE Issue 12 July 2017 https://issuu.com/articulatecontemporarycandy/docs/articulate_12?e=14112054%2F51664165

      Novam Artem Arts and culture June 2017 https://www.novamartem.dk

       

      Flux Magazine 15th March 2017 http://www.fluxmagazine.com/london-art-biennale-stephen-calcutt/

      BBC WM March 3rd  Interview with Adrian Goldberg  

      ITV News 1st March 2017  http://www.itv.com/news/london/2017-03-01/photographer-sells-pictures-of-vandalised-bus-shelters/

       

      BBC News 22nd February 2017   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-39029920

       

      Format Magazine 16th February 2017 

      https://www.format.com/magazine/galleries/photography/abstract-photography-stephen-calcutt

       

      HEKKTA 11th February 2017 http://hekkta.com/blog/bus-stop/

       

      The Style Vibe 2nd February 2017  https://www.thestylevibe.com/post.php?p=27516

       

      Creative Boom 31st January 2017 http://www.creativeboom.com/inspiration/bus-stop-unique-street-photography-that-uses-graffitied-bus-shelters-as-its-lens/

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Education

       

       

      2017-2018

      MA Visual Communication

      (With distinction)

      Birmingham City University

       

      2008- 2012

      BA (Hons) Health Studies (2:1)

       

      2007-2008

      HNC Fitness Health and Exercise

       

      1981

      Art ‘O’ Level Grade ‘A’

      Alderbrook School Solihull

       

      References

       

       

      References are available upon request.