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Artist Spotlight: Stephen Guy

Submitted by bowadmin on Wed, 07/12/2016 - 12:23

Stephen Guy had his first studio with Bow Arts at the old Bermondsey studios, describing it as a great ‘foot in the door’, where he stayed for 3 months until moving to the newly opened Rum Factory Studios, Wapping in June 2015 where he is currently based.

“It’s a relaxed place and I like the easy interaction with other artists and makers. A bonus being it’s near where I live which is pretty ideal.” said Stephen.

Stephen who usually works under the company name of Fire the Inventor, specialises in what is called mechanical art or automata or engineered art. Subverting the necessary precision of mechanical function with abstract and surreal compositions is satisfying. His main focus of attention is producing educational machines for exhibitions, science centres and schools, curious machines which through humour draw people into the ideal of mechanical movement and the science behind it.

Over the past few months Stephen has been travelling around the world running workshops from UK to Abu Dhabi, while promoting engineering and science at careers fairs, working on commissions from the Crafts Council and providing and setting up educational resources for kinetic theatre exhibitions in Guangdong and Shanghai.

“It’s been a good year for travelling but I’m just as excited to soon be hopping on the DLR and commuting to work at Royal Albert Wharf."

Speaking about Stephen’s move next spring:

Although he won’t actually be upping sticks and moving permanently to R.A.W. (yet), Stephen will be taking on what is called an Art Residency for two months in early spring 2017. The first artists to inhabit the actual building that will become Bow Arts’ creative-hub-arts-centre in the area. Stephen hopes the R.A.W. building will become a temporary mechanical playground, and will include exhibits on loan from the legendary Cabaret Mechanical Theatre.

“It’s a marvellous building: a huge new-build, with floor to ceiling windows and over-looking a still functioning dock. Studios and small catering businesses will soon be opening around this dock, creating an atmospheric place to hang out and work. My task for the new building is to make it curious and intriguing, to inject it with creative life, community interest and activity. As the first artists there, I’m the flag-bearer of great things to come.”

Find out more about Stephen’s company: www.firetheinventor.co.uk