ABOUT ME

ARTIST LIVING IN BEDFORDSHIRE, UK

Biography

Stanley is a Lancashire lad who relocated to Devon in the mid 1980s to study Fine Art at Exeter College of Art & Design, then on to Newcastle for an MA, with two international residencies in between. After a brief 22 years in London he finally settled in Bedfordshire.

Drawing became the backbone to all Stanley’s work following traditional teachings in the life room at Art School. What he then procured from sculpture and painting he applied to his drawing; form, texture, layering. Continuing to push boundaries with his drawing techniques the discovery of electric erasers a couple of years ago greatly influenced his approach to (and understanding of) mark making.

Following the loss of his son in 2020 Stanley’s work focuses on a visual search for meaning; exploring the humanistic compulsion to believe in ‘other’ (metaphysical and ethereal) as a concept of transformation. His new body of work has gained two solo exhibitions, an ever growing number of UK group exhibitions and had several works featured in four consecutive exhibitions in Italy, touring between Milan and Turin, completing the tour at Galleria d’Arte La Conchiglia, Torino.

In 2023 Stanley was awarded 1st Prize for ‘Best In Medium‘ from Camelback Gallery, USA and awarded a Global Talent Special Prize from Global Talent Art Prize 4th edition.

Studied Fine Art @

The University Of Northumbria at Newcastle Upon Tyne: MA Fine Art – 1995
Exeter College Of Art & Design: BA (Hons) Fine Art – 1987
Blackpool and Fylde College of F & HE: Fine Art Foundation – 1984

Associations

Member Artist of ArtCan – artcan.org.uk

Residencies

Villa Montalvo, Saratoga, California
Rotterdam Academie van Beeldende Kunsten

“…exposing and emotional sense of a life unknown but reachable!”

SANDRA L

“Transformation of energy and hope.”

JACKIE

“Three dimensional drawings of great power.”

JOHN AND LIZ

Drawing is an essential part of my practice

Drawing has always been an essential part of my artistic practice making use of pencils, charcoal, pastels and oil pastels. I have also added to my arsenal of drawing implements, an electric eraser, and it changed the game. I enjoy pushing materials to their limits and creating multiple layers; applying chosen mediums and pulling back white paper with the electric eraser and then reapplying…  rubbing the medium into the surface with fingers, cotton wool, smudge sticks and even cotton buds.

As a student life and still life drawing taught me plenty about form and light and this laid the foundation for my love of drawing. Maybe I am old school but I see drawing as fundamental – and the basis for any developing idea.

Artist’s statement

2024

My artistic oeuvre transcends the physical realm, infusing a spiritual dimension into an exploration of death as transformation. My works resonate with a profound metaphysical energy, inviting viewers to contemplate the transcendent aspects of existence. I employ symbolism that echoes spiritual motifs in an attempt to create a visual tapestry that speaks to the interconnectedness of the corporeal and the ethereal, making reference to music, faith, light, and the fundamental archetypes of the soul. I frequently eschew colour in order to focus on the complex relationships between light and darkness, both physically and symbolically, and how it can allow us to peer from our place within the everyday world to a world that might lie beyond it, beneath it, or even within it.

Through the lens of spirituality, my art becomes a conduit for reflection on the timeless cycles of life, death, and rebirth, prompting viewers to delve into the deeper, mystical layers of their own consciousness.

The loss of my son, Louis, in 2020, had a profound impact on my life and art. As I continue to grapple with my own traumatic experience I investigate how, often in great despair, we may reach out into the darkness in an attempt to seek and seize the fading echoes of our loss. And as I dismantle the boundaries between life and death, my work resides somewhere in the space between.

Statement pre 2020

My drawings have been described, appropriately, as: menacing and mischievous, serenely melancholic, sexual, dark and sinister, but playful and humorous.

The multi-layering of oil pastel and pencil creates depth and attempts to emulate the marks and surfaces achieved in materials like paint, clay or plaster. The images often take on a biomorphic quality as scratches reference marked time and inevitable scarring of the epidermal layer.

When three dimensions become two, references to scale often become ambiguous. A background might become a backdrop when objects cast vertical shadows upon it. The images, with prop-like objects, seem more like dioramas, scenes waiting for further content, or long forgotten stage sets. The narrative is, essentially, misleading.

Water, or fluid, is a recurring element in my work, appearing as puddles, ponds or streams. This ‘water’ is always depicted dark and the scratched, reflective, surfaces do not reveal the true depth or what may be lurking beneath. I like to tease, often hiding an alternative narrative in plain sight. Allegory plays an important role, as does the absurdity of our existence.

In a series of drawings, collectively titled, ’Nests’, I weave a mass network of branch or capillary-like structures often with tangled ladders. These stark, black, networks create unknown, menacing, depth. They become sinister traps as much as they represent, by title, somewhere homely and secure. A recent development of these drawings produces a more organic feel, creature-like forms emerging from the twisted mass.

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