Vittoria Street Gallery
Monday, October 14, 2019
Friday, November 1, 2019
82 - 86 Vittoria Street
West Midlands
Vittoria Street Gallery

Vittoria Street Gallery is pleased to present Space|Craft a solo exhibition by Stephen Bottomley featuring new and previously existing work. The show aims to capture material fragments and visual elements as a timeline or trail.  This focuses on a slow, developmental process of material-based and practice-led enquiry that has taken place over the recent years and across several locations.

The journeys between his studio in Edinburgh, research time as a visiting artist in Bristol and his academic work in Sheffield, Edinburgh and now Birmingham have all helped shape the praxis that this exhibition seeks to unpack and examine.

Inspired by how ancient techniques can be applied creatively and harmoniously with evolving contemporary materials and technology, Bottomley is known for his hand-made precious metal vitreous enamel jewellery that often combines industrial materials through a range of batch production techniques.  His work layers embossed repetitive patterns and textures on gentle rhythmic and geometric forms. Striking colours are applied to highlight an underlying modernist aesthetic style.

Born in 1967, two years before the Apollo 11 moon landing, Bottomley continues to be influenced by the space age as reflected and filtered through in literature, art, film and TV. Ancient and Classical jewellery, Egyptian Art and the Renaissance have also been significant, alongside pulp and science fiction, and Japanese and Scandinavian design influences.

This exhibition features current test pieces and experimental ‘work-in progress’ with new materials in his vocabulary. Since 2016 and the ‘Adorned Afterlife’ research project he has been experimenting with Egyptian faience, a low-fire mixture of ceramic materials containing clay, sand, colorants, frits, and soluble salt traces.