Stephen Towns







Stephen Towns
‘The Autonomous Object’
26th June-19th July 2013

I see the process of making sculpture as a mediating one; through it I am able to explore a personal investigation of the external world and attempt to understand aspects of what I observe.  I have a particular fascination for the structural/iterative processes in growth, and my initial study of science has shaped this response to biomorphic form.  The interface between a ”programme” and “material” in living systems is one which fills me with wonder and provides a strategy for my work.  Thus I create works through strategic processes that allow me to transcend what I know and allow me to discover new forms.  If I am successful, these forms are neither representational nor abstract but coded, and therefore have equivalence to diverse natural forms.

My investigation is therefore parallel to that of science and mathematics, which continue to provide me with a rigour that I find inspirational, yet I also realise that inevitably my subjective responses play a fundamental role in determining my explorations.

These works thus explore biomorphic form through both a strategic and practical interface between programme and material.   All forms use an iterative constructive process, employing geometrical  units,  often involving chance within specified parameters.  The use of colour and surface is integral to the construction processes, and is a complex problem to negotiate, yet plays a fundamental role in determining the identity of the work.  I wish to create sculptures that have a strong sense of autonomy and visual identity that I see in the external world, yet which remain non- representational.
CV & Biog


1985-1986          F.E.T.C, Basingstoke College of Technology
1981-1983          M.F.A., Reading University (Sculpture)
1976-1979          BA (Hons.) Fine Art, Exeter College of Art
1975-1976          Art Foundation Course, Newcastle College
1973-1974          BSc Biochemistry (Year One), Essex University
I work as a full time artist, I exhibit work, undertake commissions and lecture part time in Fine Art within both F.E and H.E.
2011-present Site specific project curator, University of Creative Arts Farnham
2010-2011 Art Consultant, Frimley Park Hospital, Time Garden, (Kings Fund)
2009-12 Wiltshire College, B.A. Fine Art, p/t lecturer
1997-2008 Basingstoke College of Technology, p/t lecturer/course leader in Foundation and Art & Design Access courses respectively

I have work in private collections in the U.K. Ireland and U.S.A.

2009-present Arts Consultant, Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust/King’s Fund and Department of Health “Enhancing the Healing Environment” programme.  Garden Project for patients at the end of life.  Exhibition co-ordinator with University of Creative Arts, Farnham.  The project won a prestigious BBH Award in the category Best External Space (2011)
2011-12 Brookvale Community Association. Site specific sculptural interpretation structure
2006 Interior Design projects in Ireland, and Bristol, incorporating commissioned drawings
Basingstoke & Deane, Restoration of Regency Gate, Walled Garden
2005 Basingstoke & Deane Commission for Walled Garden
2002 Basingstoke Heritage Society, Site Specific Interpretation Structure
2000 Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council, Walled Garden Sculptural Signs
2013 Art in the Gardens, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens.  A forthcoming exhibition of sculpture in the garden.  Group show, June – Oct
2013 The Searchers Contemporary Gallery, Bristol.  A forthcoming 2 person show of sculpture, titled “The Autonomous Object”
2012  “Drawing Towards Sculpture”, THE SHOP, Basingstoke.
I organised, coordinated and curated this exhibition exploring the various relationships between drawing and sculpture for Hampshire Sculpture Trust.
Talk “Drawing Towards Sculpture” Willis Museum, Basingstoke
2010 “Heft” Group exhibition Winchester Gallery
2008 Group exhibition, Sculpture, Winchester Gallery.
2006 One person show of drawings, Roundwood House
2003 “PRIME”, Mile End Park Arts Pavilion, London. 5 Person Show
2002 ArtHaus, Group Show, Basingstoke.
2001 Beatrice Royal Gallery, Eastleigh and Winchester Gallery
2000 Maltby Contemporary Gallery, Winchester
2010 to present Executive Member, Hampshire Sculpture Trust.
Currently  I am working on a research project exploring the decision making process in Fine Art practic.
2012/13   Time Garden Artworks 2012, published book documenting project
2012 Time Garden Artworks 2011,       “           “              “                “
1979 “Sol Le Witt, A System’s Aesthetic, Thesis published by Exeter College of Art