Stephen Calcutt

Stephen Calcutt
MA Visual Communication // Birmingham City University ’18

Stephen works across photography, installation, film, sound and fashion. His distinctive form of street photography is rooted in his experiences of frequenting bus shelters around Birmingham.

“Graffiti can be great art; however, the graffiti scratched into plexiglass windows of bus shelters feels like a violation. I have yet to see any of this that looks great in its own right. This graffiti seems to express frustration, anger, love or hate. However, unlike the more colourful graffiti that is emblazoned across the walls of buildings and is often seen as art, it is very mundane. The view while waiting for a bus is often also mundane.

I use the bus shelter window as a lens. I put what would usually be the focal point (the view beyond the window) out of focus. I then focus on what what would normally be avoided (the graffiti). The resulting images are very dynamic and often vibrant. There is a metamorphosis – the mundane etchings and surroundings are merged into a fresh new image. This new perspective emphasises the energy of the graffiti. Is swirls, zig-zags, lines and curves slash across the distorted view like paint strokes. At first glance these images can be mistaken for abstract paintings.

I am attracted to the paradox that my work invokes. I make beautiful images out of the vandalised bus stop windows. I love the images I produce (although I don’t condone vandalism). And yet, in creating a sense of detachment from the world beyond the window, these images also represent experiences of anxiety and depression.

The Bus Stop series brings the current social issue of a specific form of vandalism to the fore. It is a product of modern vandalism; vandalism that has found the plexiglass windows of bus shelters an ideal medium to express feelings. Although my work has so far been derived from the city of Birmingham, it is an issue familiar to the many people of all ages who travel by bus in urban and rural settings across the UK. My photography challenges people to look at the issue of vandalism, from the protagonists to the observers of their markings. It also challenges people to see the potential beauty and meaning in the mundane”.

Stephen’s recent projects include Bustopia, an installation and fashion show at the Direct Art Action Gallery in Birmingham. His work has been recognised by the International Photographer of the Year (2017) and World Street Photography (2016) awards.

stephencalcutt.com
st.eve_1@hotmail.co.uk

Bus stop 0
Photography
Various sizes available
£300 – £1000

Bus stop 1
Photography
Various sizes available
£300 – £1000

Education

2017 – 2018
MA Visual Communication, Birmingham City University.

Exhibitions

2020
Bustopia, art installation / fashion show, Direct Art Action Gallery, Birmingham.

2019
Open Projection 3: Chiaroscuro, Coventry Cathedral.

2018
For the Love of Art, The Anchor Gallery, Birmingham.
The Other Art Fair, Brunels Old Station, Bristol.

2017
The London Group Open, Cello Factory, London.
RWA 165 Annual Open Exhibition, The Royal West of England Academy, Bristol.
It’s Art Call, D Contemporary Gallery, London.
The Orangery Gallery, Minley Manor, Surrey.
London International Art Competition, HLS Gallery, London.

Awards

2017
International Photographer of the Year, Honorable Mention.

2016
World Street Photography Awards, Special Mention.