Illustration: Anthony Stevens A Good Age
The present art world is such a large and diverse one, we are indeed lucky to live in a period of such intense and widespread creativity. Of course, the internet has helped enormously to connect so many of us together, allowing people like myself to highlight creative individuals as never before, and for that we have to be truly grateful.
One of the creative individuals that I have come across online recently, is the artist Anthony Stevens. Anthony uses his work as a form of therapy, a means of expressing and processing his life, both in the past and in the present, particularly as regards trauma and its after effects. As he says himself, his work is about, "...me dancing with my inner dynamics so that I can find a rhythm that is both constructive and wonderful."
Illustration: Anthony Stevens Modern Man
We are all trying to make sense of our lives, and to make sense of the environment around us. One of the best ways to do that, to work through towards an understanding, as well as finding a form in which to express that understanding, is through the creative arts.
We all choose the mediums and working materials that we are happiest with, and we all choose a general direction for those mediums and working materials. Anthony chose textiles, for the very reason that so many others do, because he remembers being surrounded by them as a child. It seemed natural to him to gravitate towards using textiles as his personal and creative outlet, as his connections to textiles are personal and long-standing. To be comfortable with a medium, with a form of expression is often a large part of the creative path. In order to find out how best to express yourself, find your best form of expression. It seems self-evident, but it can often be one of the hardest lessons to learn.
Illustration: Anthony Stevens Chew Your Own Tale
Much of Anthony's imagery comes from his practice of Nichiren Buddhism, and the chanting of "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo". It is whilst chanting that the artist tends to see images in his mind's eye, at times coming with an intuitive feeling as to whether the images are worth working with and creatively pursuing.
Many creative artists follow the same course as Anthony, they may make different paths, take different tactics, but they all follow the same general lines of creativity. Ideas and images are turned over in the mind, connections are made, outcomes are formulated, the foundation of work becomes a reality in thought at least, no matter how tentative.
Illustration: Anthony Stevens Night Bird
When it comes to the actual physical creative process, Anthony allows the image to start its revelation, getting it to unravel its many layers of meaning to him. This is often symbolised ion the textiles that the artist uses, for example Anthony is keen on using striped fabrics in a lot of his compositions as they help to symbolise for him the ongoing drama of life and death, consciousness and unconsciousness. He is also keen to deliberately work with scrap fabrics. He feels that by using scrap fabrics, he is forcing himself to open himself up creatively, to allow the seeming uselessness of fabric pieces to show their potential.
It is the connection between Anthony's creative path and that of his personal one, that he draws his artistic strength. He defines a direct correlation between how he strives to perceive his creative life, and that of his personal life. The artist readily admits, "As with life, it is sometimes a painstaking and frustrating process, but ultimately I feel joy and satisfaction with the result". It is all an artist can ask of themselves and of their path.
Illustration: Anthony Stevens Wake Up
Anthony has had both solo and group shows in London, Brighton, and Frankfurt. His work can be found at his comprehensive website - Anthony Stevens
Please be aware that all images of the artists work were kindly supplied by Anthony, and are not to be reproduced without his permission.