As Frieze Week begins, this week's 'Five Minutes with...' interview spotlights artist and sculptor Amy Stephens, whose thought-provoking work 'Waking Matter' [pictured above] is currently on display in London's Regent's Park, as part of Frieze Sculpture.

Read on for Amy's insights into the making process, what it takes to be exhibited at Frieze, and why sustainability and nature are becoming increasingly important in the world of art.

Image credit: Ben Rolph.

Tell us about your Frieze Sculpture, Waking Matter?

Waking Matter is assembled from a piece of surplus marble that is presented to the viewer as an object of stability and immense fragility. I noticed this beautiful off-cut when documenting the view from a quarry that overlooks the Lunigiana territory in Tuscany.

The metamorphic rock inhabits both a physical and psychological space. Set upon a modern, architectonic steel pedestal, there is an air of admiration for the entity itself. The physical making process is clearly visible forming a bond between the natural and the constructed.

Striated and pitted with crystals, the conflicting geological textures take naturally to each other as they are forced to adopt a new habitat. Rocks and minerals have their own story, but the abundance of any object can be a source of invisibility. For me, this sculpture is a celebration of nature that focuses on the importance of these terrestrial wonders.

What inspires your work?

At University, I studied Art and Geology for the first two years and then later received a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. My practice is inspired by land formations and travel. I am interested in how we reuse, recycle and re-appropriate everyday materials from our daily environment. My intention is to elevate artefacts in a considered way to generate a new perspective about time and our appreciation of the landscape.

Are there any artists or objects you're particularly looking forward to seeing during Frieze Week?

I was lucky enough to be taught by a variety of brilliant artists including Anne Ryan, Eliza Bonham Carter, Ian Kiaer and Amikam Toren. I am particularly looking forward to seeing paintings by Clare Woods and Kaye Donachie but also the material objects by Richard Tuttle.

What trends can you see emerging in the arts over the next 6-12 months?

As an artist, creative or anyone placing objects in the public realm, I believe we need to be incredibly mindful about the natural world around us and the language we adopt. From the acrylic primer on a canvas to the surplus marble currently suspended high in The Regent’s Park, all matter comes with an inherent narrative therefore the positioning of work is critical if it is to deliver a message about sustainability and the environment.

If you weren't an artist, you'd be...

A geologist.

Other than a phone and keys, what's the one item you always have on you?

Tape measure.

How do you relax when you're not working?

Travel, usually as part of an artist’s residency.

What's your favourite-ever piece of art?

A painting by Peter Doig called Swamped, 1990 and Four Figures Waiting (BH 461), 1968 by Dame Barbara Hepworth.

Frieze Sculpture, the much-celebrated free public art exhibition, takes place until 29 October, and coincides with Frieze London and Frieze Masters, which take place concurrently from 11 to 15 October 2023.

Find out more: //