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Stephen Livingstone - statements by the artist


My work is 'about' rather than 'of' landscape. I prefer to get involved with a landscape and aim to say something about its past and present. I am especially interested in the impact that mankind has had on the land through industrial, agricultural, ritual and military use including the impending impact on other planet surfaces. Over the past three years I have been working on a series of paintings called 'Coalfields' which are about a reclaimed open cast mine near to my home. The land has now returned to arable farmland no evidence of its industrial use remains on the surface. The pictures are painted using coaldust mixed with gum arabic on handmade Wookey Hole paper.

(The series comprises 14 pictures, all but two of which have been sold to national and international collectors. In addition, Stephen created a commissioned picture in the same series, Coalfield XV, and has recently completed two new works on a much large scale, Coalfield Excavation and Backfill (below), which will be shown in London in March 2007).

Coalfield Excavation (2006)

Coalfield Backfill (2006)

Moths and moons

For the past two years I have been doing some work for the British Library, producing a website to promote creative research into the Lindisfarne Gospels. As a result of this I have put together an exhibition of over forty works called "Moths and Moons" which last year accompanied the digital Facsimile of the Gospels on its tour of the North of England. The drawings for "Moths and Moons" are variations on a geometric theme found in the Cross Carpet pages of the Lindisfarne Gospels. They are made using natural materials (rocks, minerals, spices) applied to the covers of discarded library books.

(This collection is not for sale but can be lent out to public bodies and museums).

Heart and Dart (2004)

The Passenger and the exile (2004)

Tin books

This series of small scale assemblages was made on return from a trip to Marrakech. The Tin Books are an extension of the Moths and Moons - carpet pages contained and protected by rusting covers. No one visiting Marrakech could but be amazed by the colour and variety of the locally made carpets. The Berber peoples of Morocco have been weaving carpets for thousands of years. Each tribe has its own style of carpet, each village or family its own unique patterns, each weaver her own signs and symbols handed down through the generations. The distinctive orange that is so characteristic of many Berber carpets is produced from the crushed leaves, flowers and twigs of the henna plant.

Orange Swift (2005)

Berber Carpet Page (2005)

Work in progress

Stephen has recently had work on show at Bede's World, 'Time and Tide'. He has a show at the Drumcroon Gallery in Wigan in April 2007, and is also working on an exhibition at the Dorman Museum in Middlesbrough, scheduled for 2008. Frances Thirlway Fine Art will continue to represent Stephen at various art fairs and exhibitions.

© Frances Thirlway Fine Art 2007