If you haven’t seen Steph Fuller’s works at Carcew’s ‘Dreaming/Awake’ exhibition, run, don’t walk there. Her polished images have a dark, albeit poignant quality that pulls at the heartstrings, and is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. In our latest spotlight, Steph talks about finding inspiration from the unlikeliest of sources (Men in Black?!), and her favourite music to get her creative process going.
Q: Hello Steph! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
A: Hello! I’m a 24-year-old Visual Arts graduate born and raised in SA. I like tiny plants and almost anything that reminds me of outer space.
Q: Who inspires you? What inspires your art?
A: I can’t ignore the fact that a fixation with the cliché UFO light beam kicked my arts practice into being. Before that I was a ‘natural light shooter’ (I know, right.) I’m very intrigued with the transformative potential of light and am often trying it out on things that I might otherwise find dull. I have to credit the cat from the Men in Black movie with partly inspiring my latest works – his name is Orion and there’s a universe on his collar.
Q: Do you have a preferred medium?
A: I work predominantly in digital photography producing Giclée prints, but have started to dabble in moving image works also.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Dark, introspective, detached.
Q: Can you please describe your artistic and creative process i.e.: from lingering idea to putting it into practice?
A: I usually have to be in the right headspace to generate ideas for images, aided by the right music (Radiohead and NERO are my go-tos). Most ideas begin as dot-points or small stick-man sketches in my journal. Then they often take a few separate attempts to get right as a photograph.
Still Water, 2013.
Q: Where do you see your art practice taking you in the next five years?
A: My next step is to exhibit the body of work that I’m currently developing. We’ll see what happens thereafter!
Q: If you could recommend one artist, who would it be?
A: William Mackinnon. All of his work gives me the same jolt as when I manage to execute an image as I saw it in my mind’s eye. The familiarity of his night landscapes is so wonderful that I can’t figure out whether the arresting quality of each one is something injected or revealed.
Q: What is your favourite gallery?
A: I don’t have a favourite per se, but FELTspace is just great. I do enjoy the new FORMAT gallery space, and I’ve never hurried out of Hugo Michell Gallery.
Q: Where can we find more of your work?
A: My official website, Facebook and Instagram.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
A: I think that has to be my Nanna’s piano. It’s a humble upright piano but it’s a beautiful thing. My Nanna and my dad both learned piano, and I did when I was younger too. It’s a real family heirloom.
– Masya Zabidi