Amy Stephens | Nature knows only colours

12 November - 30 January 2022 only by appoitment) Curator: Maria Stathi Private View: 12.11.2021
Installation View Nature knows only colours by Amy Stephens at Art Seen, ground floor

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Art Seen is delighted to present the solo exhibition Nature knows only colours by the British artist Amy Stephens.


“It is the best possible sign of a colour when nobody who sees it knows what to call it.”

John Ruskin, 1859


For her second solo exhibition at the gallery, Amy Stephens invites the viewer to consider how nature offers us a visual language and shapes the colours we see.

Minerals and rocks from Cyprus are abundant throughout the exhibition. Pitted with pores and striated, their conflicting geological textures suddenly take naturally to each other as they are forced to adopt a new habitat. In this moment of transformation, a different energy and a new object emerges.

The abundance of any material can be a source of invisibility and therefore nature is often largely overlooked. These everyday artefacts are re-contextualised as objects of intrinsic worth against backdrops of vivid colour.

A giant celadonite inhabits both a physical and psychological space. Set upon its modern pedestal, it inspires admiration for the rock itself but also suggests a bond between the natural and the constructed.

Multifarious from place to space, from form to symbolism, one entity is never a singular thing and objectivity turns subjective. From a series of suspended ephemeral photographic prints to abstract collages that capture Cypriot heritage sites, the artist is focused on new and changing narratives attached to notions of colour. By exploring the ideas of transferability and the importance of recognition, nature knows only colours for these terrestrial wonders.

* We would like to thank Valentinos Charalambous for his kind support. The artist currently uses these particular rocks for glazing his ceramic artworks and kindly offered a few of them to be part of Amy Stephens’ sculptures; Spyros Anastasiou for his incredible help; also, Ruth Keshishian for her continued support, research, and providing us with a selection of books and geological maps.


About the artist

Amy Stephens (b.1981 London) received an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, UK (2008) and a BA (Hons) Fine Art from the University of Reading, UK (2005).

Selected solo exhibitions include Land | Reland [Portland], Upfor Gallery, Portland. Oregon, US (2018); fig-futures, The Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, UK (2018); Retain, Reframe, Art Seen, Nicosia, Cyprus (2017); rock, paper, mountain, UV Estudios, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2016); fig2 35/50, ICA London (2015); Rocks Remember, William Benington Gallery, London, UK (2015); 'an oyster can’t read this', Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2015); Catching the Big Fish, Minibar, Stockholm, Sweden (2013); Collide, Poppy Sebire Gallery, London, UK (2012); This Urban Silence, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2011).

Recent group exhibitions include: Psychotropics, New Art Centre, Roche Court, curated by Iwona Blazwick OBE (2020); Spotlight on Sculpture, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, UK (2020); Synergia, Museo Federico Silva, Mexico (2019); Skulturenpark, Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer, Vienna, Austria (2019); The Annotated Reader, The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, UK, curated by Ryan Gander and Jonathan P Watts (2019); non-binary, ksRoom, bei, Riegersburg, Austria, curated by Victoria Dejaco (2019); Parallel Lines: Sculpture and Drawing, Royal Society of Sculptors, Dora House, London, UK (2019).

Selected awards include fig-futures, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, UK with Art Fund, Arts Council England and Outset Contemporary Art Fund (2018); Artists' International Development Award, Arts Council England and the British Council (2016);  Villa Lena Artists' Residency, Tuscany, Italy (2015); Triangle Network Award to Muscat, Oman with Gasworks Gallery, London, UK (2013); Irish Museum of Modern Art Artists' Residency, Dublin, Ireland (2011); The Banff Centre, Artists' Residency, Banff, Canada (2010).

Amy Stephens has artworks in the following public collections: Canary Wharf Group Collection, London; David Ross Foundation, London; Groucho Club Collection, London; Grundy Art Gallery Collection, Blackpool; Modern Forms Collection, London; Museo Federico Silva Collection, Mexico; Irish Office of Public Works State Collection, Dublin; Rothschild Collection, London; Soho House Group Collection, London; Mumbai Unilever Collection, London; Villa Lena Foundation, Tuscany; Zabludowicz Collection, London.

Amy Stephens is a Trustee for the Royal Society of Sculptors, a mentor for the University of Reading and a regular fundraiser for the Prince’s Trust.


Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 16:00 – 19:30 or any other day by appointment

For additional information, please contact:

Maria Stathi, Founder & Director +357 22006624 |