Friday, 21 November 2014

From the archives: Introducing... artist Stephen Wright

This story was originally posted in the summer of 2013. For those of you who missed it, enjoy...

I met the most unusual artist I've met in a long time last week. I love Stephen Wright's work – gorgeous, and often off-beat mosaics and bright, odd prints with a big Mexican vibe.

I'd seen the latter for sale in a shop near me (Brixi in south London's Brixton Market in case you're in this part of the world). But even though Stephen told me that he'd lived in Mexico in a former life, it wasn't that that made him unusual.

The unusualness is all down to his extremely unconventional living arrangement. But we'll come back to that, because it's totally brilliant and brilliantly bonkers. Meanwhile, here's (a part of) his beautiful, colourful home. The artwork over the sofa, above, is one of Stephen's own.

I love the upturned holey metal thing as a side-table. I forgot to ask him what it was (there was so much other stuff to talk about, as you'll see). Anyone know what it is?

The view from the sitting room into the colourful kitchen, one of Wright's artworks visible hanging over the table.

I like that one of the shelf floors has gone in this. Loaf sell a slightly larger version of this nice wall rack in their 2013 bathroom range, and Rockett St George do a zinc one.


The kitchen. Check out the hand-made wooden table; uneven, differently painted pieces of wood inside in a metal frame, topped with a piece of glass. The colours are great. Very sunny.

The table is handmade by Stephen out of wood collected from his family home in Cheshire and from down at Herne Bay.


Good proof that you should always build your bags into the colour scheme.

The colours are a bit clashy, which Wright says he likes and which taps into his Mexican influence. I like the way the cupboard is painted quite roughly too – it gives it the feel of the exterior of a building in a scorching south American street, rather than an antique wooden cupboard.

A window above a kitchen sink to look out of is a luxury I would always try to incorporate into any washing up space. Here there was none, so Stephen built an internal one, overlooking the landing. Nice metal horses.

Bathroom wall storage; a man after my own heart.

The view from the all-white, rustic en-suite into the bright bedroom.

The bedspread was made in Uzbekistan and bought in Brick Lane.

Good lampshades. And I like that they don't contain clear glass old-school bulbs (or bare filament bulbs to give them their proper name), just no-frills modern ones. The traditional ones are beautiful, but these just make the whole thing much more DIY and accessible.

Who lives in a house like this? Artist, Stephen Wright in his studio kitchenette downstairs. But just when you thought the tour was over, this is what the rest of the downstairs looks like. Brace yourselves...

Stephen's house is also his own living museum. The hallway, above, gives onto the technicolour living and dining rooms – or, rather, the former living and dining rooms.



Every surface is covered with Stephen's unique style of mosaic.



Archways cut into the walls emphasise the 3-D effect (the records and rather unimpressed doll's heads in the back of this shot are actually on a wall in another room).

The front gate at Stephen's "House of Dreams".

You can buy Stephen's new book, featuring far better images than I was able to take of his amazing collection. It's for sale on his website (see above) and from Brixi. If you're in France, it's also available from the Halle St Pierre Outsider Art Gallery.

Want to see more images and read the story of why and how Stephen did this to his house? It's fascinating, sad and happy all at once. It's all here at Below the River, the other website I edit.

7 comments:

  1. Looks like an old grape bucket, used during harvest.

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    Replies
    1. Hmm. The holes looked much bigger than grapes but I've never experienced a grape harvest so you could be right!

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    2. You harvest grapes by the bunch not individually........ it's generally quicker

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  2. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this post about Stephen Wright. I think he is brilliant.

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  3. Wow what a fabulous home. Genius.

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  4. what a great artist is he! I love all art work in the house. I have never seen before unique art like this.. really great work of art..

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  5. I love you, Stephen. Completed moved to tears and smiles x

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