Steve McPherson is an artist and lecturer whose practice includes installation, sculpture, objects, book works, collections, assemblage, collage, experimental drawing, photography, video and sound.
McPherson asks questions and explores concepts surrounding systems of knowledge & information, and at the same time challenges his own and others models of belief. He asks us to question what we perceive, what we can know and what exists in actuality, and therefore, if these notions exist at all outside of a theoretical context. In practice this is executed with a search for understanding via maps, mapping, collecting collating and documenting.
This obsessive nature combined with a love of the book format, has resulted in an array of artworks that fall into many categories, and have aesthetics born sometimes from museology, sometimes from the laboratory or library and from ambiguous elsewhere’s. His love of objects and materials is grounded in their alchemical charm, and their banality is valued and challenged as much as their meaning.
From oceanic installations of 3000+ books spilt on the floor of a London gallery, or rammed into the space of a dis-used junk shop. To small scenes of mutation and relation, found and preserved in specimen boxes forming the contents of a continuous and growing contemporary WunderKrammer; McPherson sifts the detritus of life and presents it as evidence that we live in our own museums of marvellous mystery, and in doing so questions our faith in those things we claim we know.
In his most recent work, McPherson combines found objects from his local coast, with a summary text that gives a potential identity and history to the collated flotsam and jetsam. These discarded items, wave worn and sun bleached are arranged sometimes by colour and sometimes by other specific taxonomies, thus using the new works again to reveal in subtle ways through the use of text, content and aesthetics, that truth, history and information are questionable and relative to our perception and use of it.
In 2000 McPherson was awarded Bursary membership from the Royal Society of British Sculptors and from 2002 until late 2005 he gained representation from The Blue Gallery, London. During this time (2003), he completed an Artist Residency with the Bonhoga Gallery in the Shetland Isles. In the year following, his solo show ‘From Here – Where You Are’, presented the resulting de-constructed maps and photographic imagery. In 2007-8 he showed work with The Rebecca Hossack Gallery London, and more recently with Wills Art Warehouse, London.
2004 saw his artist books/diary journals included in the ‘Contemporary Artists’ Books 1960-2004′, Public Lecture, at Tate Modern. Also in Feb 2007, at the ‘The hybrid lexicon’ lecture during the CODEX Symposium at University of California, USA. In the following year his Journals and diaries were included in the ‘Books That Fly’ Conference at The University of Brighton, UK, and in the same year at the University of west of England, Centre for Fine Print Research. This exhibition coincided with the publication of his Limited Edition hard back book, documenting his growing archive of works in book format.
His works have also been featured in journals and publications including ‘Creating Artist Books’ (A & C Black), ‘Succour’, Journal of New Fiction & Poetry, Aesthetica Magazine, Daily Constitutional (USA) Alternatives Journal (Canada), and Pushing Out The boat magazine, Scotland. He continues to show in galleries and art fairs in Europe and the USA