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Stephen Bell: Artifice

8 February - 2 March 2024

Stephen Bell’s work looks obsessively at objects, surfaces and the residue of actions that have been covered up, hidden from view, discarded or forgotten.  The idea of the double take,  where we have to look again, is used to confound expectations and to expand the importance of something.


In Bell’s work, the focus is on how it is represented, as well as what is represented.  He uses aesthetics to raise questions about the status quo, politics, absence and the underrepresented.


Aesthetics form the initial encounter with the work followed by a slow reveal. There are often layers which the viewer has to negotiate. Questions are more important than answers and

a kind of playfulness and delight in the subject is important, often through emphasising the surreal and creating combinations of contrasting elements that resonate with each other.

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