b1969 British Artist
Stephen Newby’s aim to challenge preconceived notions about the nature of materials and their possible forms has been the focus of his work to date, he has produced sculptural works which have varied from studio pieces to larger scale public art.
With a fascination for manipulating materials to create objects that defy the gaze, his work has more recently extended to focus on other reflective forms. Explorations in lighting attempt to set up contradictions of form, material and scale while articulating what he describes as the “transformative space that occurs in the ephemeral relationships between object and viewer, sculpture and space”.
For the last two decades Newby’s work has been concerned with exploring his own process of forming stainless steel through inflating or 'blowing' as if it were glass. It is a way of sculpting that breathes life into metal and metamorphoses steel from a flat and unpliable state into a soft and dynamic form that almost appears organic rather than manufactured.
Protean mirror surfaces that almost defy the gaze appear in constant flux, enhanced by their interaction with light and movement - thus intensifying the relationship between object and viewer, sculpture and space. This interplay between context and form is compelling: realism becomes obscured and the unmalleable and clinical appearance of steel is transformed into something soft, fluid and organic.
“…blown metal could be seen as a synthesis of a modern dialectic: the ‘organic’ and the ‘manufactured’…” (Newby, 1998)
Newby’s work attempts to confuse and question boundaries between forms, inviting uncertainty about the nature of each sculptural object.
"The transient beauty of each reflective surface creates a shifting and inconstant presence, somehow capturing a feeling of the ephemeral within the confines of the durable"