Steve McPherson sifts the detritus of life and presents it as evidence that we live in our own museums of marvellous mystery. Whether its oceanic installations of 3000+ books spilt on the floor of a London gallery, or small scenes of novelty found and preserved in specimen boxes, McPherson asks us to questions our faith in those things we claim we know.
For over 25 years Steve McPherson has used found objects from his local coast as a material within a range of artworks. Since 2007 the plastic shards and novelties have become his primary source material, and a focus for the development of his concepts and concerns. Whilst he is colour blind, these discarded items, wave worn, and sun bleached are arranged sometimes by colour and alternativley by other specific taxonomies. They aim to reveal in subtle ways through the use of text, content and aesthetics, that truth, history and information are questionable and relative to our perception and use of it.
“…. Not only do the works highlight the problem of the amount of debris in the sea…. the mysterious, the unusual, the forgotten and lost. But these wreckage pieces these objects symbolise the history of the world up to this point, they are contemporary and future archaeology. They both explain and are unexplained at the same time. Each remnant acts as a conduit between potential, real and imaginary worlds, where personal and cultural memory reside. These are the objects of our lives, this is the material of the technologically advanced.” Steve McPherson
From 2017-19 McPherson has undertaken private commissions, whilst his work has toured in the Museum exhibition ‘Plastic Entanglements’ USA. During this time, his work has been exhibited at international art fairs, and in 2017 a collection of sculptural and wall pieces were showcased by Lush Cosmetics at their Naked House exhibition in London and New Orleans.
The previous year saw his solo exhibition ‘An Undesirable Archive’, in Margate, Kent. Whilst earlier on in 2016 he was awarded a residency and commission at National Museum of Marine Science & Technology, Taiwan, for the Keelung International Marine Art Project.
In late 2014 the British Council sent McPherson to Cairo, Egypt to delivery ‘Re-thinking’ workshops to Artists from Yemen, and in 2015 his latest work with marine plastic was exhibited during the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne 2015, France. In the same year a collection of his works were shown in the touring exhibition ‘Gyre – The Plastic Ocean’ which finalised at the San Jose State University Thompson Gallery, USA in Feb 2016.
In 2011 he created ‘Siren Signal’, a series of sculptural and sound interventions on board the Lightship LV21, in Kent. This led him in 2011-12, to undertake a series of research residencies on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, to develop ‘Array’, an interactive sculpture and sound piece for the b-side festival. Part of the Cultural Olympiad of 2012 and located at the entrance to the sailing events in Weymouth. During this time, he exhibited his growing environmental photographic work ‘An Undesirable Archive’ (now number 3000+ images of individual pieces of plastic pollution in situ on UK beaches), in both Berlin and Turin, and more recently London, Switzerland, Finland, France, USA, Bulgaria and Italy.
Since 2010 McPherson has collaborated artistically to promote the work of a range of marine conservation groups including the Marine Conservation Society, Surfers Against Sewage, Race for Water Foundation, The Algalita Marine Research Foundation, The Plastiki Expedition, and Plastic Oceans.
From 2009 his works have appeared in many hard copy and online journals and publications including; Surf simply magazine, Visual China Express, E Squared magazine, Phox pops magazine, The Times Newspaper, British vogue, The Daily mail, New American Paintings, Proc Ne?! Magazine, Segel Journal, City Lab, Alaska Dispatch, Global Blue, Liv Magazine, Creating Artist Books, Resurgence Magazine, Alternatives Journal, Coast Magazine, Aesthetica Magazine, Pushing Out The Boat Magazine, and ITCH Magazine. In 2017 he was interviewed and filmed by Sky Arts Germany for their two-part documentary concerning plastic pollution of the world’s oceans ‘Dead Sea’.
In 2011 his work was shown during The Fifth International Marine Debris Conference, Hawai’i. In 2004 his artist books/diary journals were included in the ‘Contemporary Artists’ Books 1960-2004′, Public Lecture, at Tate Modern, and also, in Feb 2007, at the ‘The hybrid lexicon’ lecture during the CODEX Symposium at University of California, USA.
In 2000 McPherson was awarded Bursary membership from the Royal Society of British Sculptors. In 2003 he completed an Artist Residency with the Bonhoga Gallery in the Shetland Isles. The year following, saw his return to Shetland for his solo show ‘From Here – Where You Are’, where he presented the resulting de-constructed maps and photographic imagery.
From 2003 McPherson’s work has been exhibited at art fairs, in the UK, USA and mainland Europe. He also participated in the Brighton art fair from 2008 for four years in succession.
Steve McPherson attained his first degree in Fine Art at then Kent Institute of Art and Design, Canterbury. Subsequently he attended Winchester School of Art to complete his Master’s degree in Sculpture in 1998. A couple of years later and he returned to Canterbury to start a career as a part time lecturer of art. A profession he undertook until 2016, when he resigned to pursue a career as a full time Artist.
He continues to exhibit a diverse range of artworks in an equal amount of differing venues across the UK, in both solo and group shows. Including London; GBS Fine Art, Milton Gallery, The Woolf gallery, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, BoEcho Gallery, Orange Dot Gallery, Store Street Gallery, Mafuji Gallery, The Blue Gallery, Brixton Art Gallery. Elsewhere in the UK he has exhibited works amongst others at Canterbury Cathedral, Light Vessel 21, ONCA Gallery Brighton, Reading Museum, Folkestone Triennial Fringe, Plumbline & Orchard Gallery, St Ives.
His work is held in private, public and corporate collections worldwide.