AHA tutor Steve Nelson’s wonderful exhibition at The Contemporary Art Society: A review by Annie Gregoire

I was lucky enough to have Steve Nelson as a tutor on my AHA gap year course last summer, and being lead by a working artist offered a fresh perspective on the art we saw in both Rome and Naples. Steve’s love of Italy was infectious, and he taught with such great enthusiasm and knowledge, ensuring that we had the best experience in every city. I remember him showing us the wonders of The Pantheon and its architecture, Caravaggio’s chapel paintings in Rome, and of course will not forget eating and drinking like a local at the cities’ best restaurants and bars!

Steve works in London as a sculptor in mixed media, assembling eclectic objects and materials to create enchanting compositions. He is currently exhibiting a public display of his artwork at the Contemporary Art Society in London which I visited this week.

The Contemporary Art Society exists to promote and encourage appreciation of contemporary art in the UK. It uses mainly donated funds to buy work by current artists and donate it to galleries nationwide, whilst also organising artists’ talks and educational events. In its building on Central Street the society hosts changing exhibitions, and it is here that a number of works by Steve are on display and brightening the walls of the upper floor space.

All the fish in Naples (detail), photograph by Joe Plommer
All the fish in Naples (detail), photograph by Joe Plommer

 

After meeting Steve I had enjoyed browsing images of his work online, but it was such a treat to suddenly be able to see it up close. Much of his work seemed to be the creation of an indescribable curious object; it is captivating and ambiguous, offering many platforms for interpretation. I find his pieces lively, fun, and sometimes humorous, all created by his use of weird and wonderful materials.

Garlik Darlic, photograph by Joe Plommer

 

Reminders of Italy pop up in his works, such as ‘All the Fish in Naples’, and ‘Garlik Darlic’, made from wood covered in Florentine gold leaf. ‘The Holy Family’ is not as we know it from Renaissance Rome but exists here as three different sized pieces of brightly painted wood. His titles offer more opportunities for appreciation and interesting interpretation!

Visit yourself (for free) and have a look! Steve’s project is exhibited at The Contemporary Art Society, 59 Central Street, London until 28th March.

www.contemporaryartsociety.org

www.stephenelson.com

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