Born in the sea side town of Brighton, 1968, Steve Yeates graduated from St Martin's College of Art, London in 2002, having achieved a BA(hons) Fine Art Majoring in Sculpture. Yeates uses a variety of mediums to create his figurative works including, cold casting resin and bronze, casting in lead crystal glass, iron, copper and papier-mâché. Yeates exhibits his work across England and has numerous works in private collections but London Art is honoured to present one of the finest collections of Yeates' most recent work.
In this age of increased environmental awareness warnings that we are consuming natural resources at an unsustainable rate and contributing unnecessarily to climate change has lead to fashions in compostable wheelie-bin-liners, supermarket 'bag-for-life' schemes and most famously the banned use of polystyrene packaging for keeping McDonald's hamburgers warm. Consequently recycling is undeniably in vogue and reactions to this hot topic are beginning to filter into the art world. Steve Yeates makes use of all manner of recycled materials, "The techniques I have developed enable me to use almost any disposable paper based products." From pulped housing benefit application forms [' The System II], English law books [.Freedom] and love letters [.Unspoken Words III], to glass amassed from vandalised bus shelters [,Simon], Yeates' unique manipulation of recycled materials makes a valid environmental, social and economic statement besides a witty juxtaposition of concept and form.
As is the propensity of many St Martin's Fine Art graduates, Yeates tackles some weighty issues, "I have been exploring social issues such as homelessness and housing…Other issues I have been addressing include society's freedom, women's empowerment…" The twentieth century has been a struggle between artists, critics, theoreticians and historians who have tried to clarify the basic ideas and concepts behind art making. Indeed, Yeates' artistic intentions are profound and he acts as an advocate for a range of contemporary political and social concerns. However, at London Art what we consider to be most moving about Yeates' work is the elegance and subtlety of such pieces as Freedom, reminiscent of the striking Jeté by Enzo Plazzotta. The strength and ductility of papier-mâche, especially when compared to ceramic or stone materials, has allowed Yeates to "celebrate the dynamic energy of life, and the fascination of movement" and achieve such a striking range of energetic, ethereal figures as is exhibited here at London Art.
Yeates reveals, "My work explores the emotional repercussions on the soul of any individual of any emotional or physical act whether it be positive or negative." Yeates' methodology is, to coin a somewhat ambiguous slang term, unashamedly emo. Unspoken Words III, Edition of 5 (2004) is a 9 inch papier-mâché crouching figure, embellished with the torn shreds of a "hand-written broken heart love letter (unsent)". Yeates' emo disposition has fostered some of London Art's most honest and insightful artwork that simultaneously exhibits traditional "aesthetic" qualities, utilizing simplicity to achieve complex objectives.
To view Steve's gallery please click here