Stephen Turner’s practice is concerned with aspects of time and the dialectics of transience and permanence. His work often involves spending long periods in odd abandoned places, noting the changes in the complex relationship between people and the natural environment. His projects are rooted in research, which explore these themes in a variety of media.
His work includes installations for Turner Contemporary in Margate, Trinity Buoy Wharf in London, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art in Sunderland and Fermynwoods Contemporary Art in Northamptonshire.
He was a part of the Third World Water Conference in Kyoto, Japan in 2003 when he exhibited at the Honen-in Temple and later at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Toyota. Tree Rings for Stour Valley Arts studied the ecologies of different species of tree during a twelve-month residence at Kingswood Kent in 2004.
For Stephen Turner's Exbury Egg, through 2013 and 2014 Stephen was commissioned by Space Placemaking and Urban Design to work with architects PAD Studio to develop a workspace to the artists original concept for the Beaulieu River on the Exbury Estate, Hampshire. In Exbury the Egg was developed as an artwork and as a place to stay and work in a laboratory/studio for the creative study of the life of a tidal creek. It took on the patina of the daily tides and over 18 months of weathering by wind, rain and bleaching by the sun.
everything comes from the egg, was a major tour of the Exbury Egg and associated art works which took place between 2016 and 2017. Stephen completed a long residency with Super Slow Way in Burnley where he engaged with the local community around Finsley Gate; the exhibition at Trinity Tour Wharf in London included Stephen undertaking a brief residency engaging with communities along the River Lee and around Bow Creek; the Exbury Egg was relocated to the Grand Union Canal at Milton Keynes in May 2017then the exhibition continued to Aspex Gallery and Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, and the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings in 2017. The tour was funded by Canal & River Trust, Trinity Buoy Wharf Trust, Super Slow Way, Gunwharf Quays, Jerwood Gallery, Milton Keynes Council and the National Lottery through Arts Council England. For full details please visit exburyeggtour.com.
Stephen Turner – AKA the Eggman – launched his new international project Natura Prima? with a major solo exhibition at Fondazione Bevilacqua la Massa for three months during the 58th la Biennale di Venezia. As well as showcasing 17 years of work the exhibition launches residencies with two contrasting waterside communities – in Giudecca, Venice with Fondazione Bevilacqua La Massa (now completed) and Thamesmead, London in partnership with Bow Arts. As part of Natura Prima? Stephen's Exbury Egg is located at Bow Arts, lakeside Thamesmead between July 2019 and July 2020 where Stephen will be in residence for periods of time through the year. Turner is also working with Bow Arts studio artists (Joseph Griffiths, Bhajan Hunjan, JD Swann, courtesy of Calum F Kerr, and Dani Tagen to develop new artworks exploring the relationship between nature and place.
Stephen's is documenting the project on his blog: https://eggman.me/blog
Escaping with Magwitch (Estuary Festival 2021) was a voyage (with Carol Donaldson) from the Queen Stairs in the Historic Dockyard at Chatham, to Folly Point, Horrid Hill, Bedlams Bottom, Ladies Hole and Barksore Marsh, the last wilderness in south east England. Their route was guided by tide and current, and by meetings with marshland dwellers.