Much as I intend to focus my research on Canadian outsider artists, I learn about other interesting artists through my blog. Anthony Stevens, an outsider artist in the UK, contacted me recently and we have exchanged many interesting emails about his beautiful fabric artwork and how he came to be an artist. In Anthony’s own words:
I am a U.K based, self taught Artist. I use my work as a form of therapy and self expression. When not producing art, I also work as a Peer Support Specialist and engage in Buddhist culture and peace activities. Primarily, my work is about expressing and processing trauma and it’s after effects. I guess it’s me dancing with my inner dynamics so that I can find a rhythm that is both constructive and wonderful. My work is heavily influenced by my practise of Nichiren Buddhism and chanting ‘Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo’, especially the concept of ‘Nothing is wasted’. This has become manifest by my choosing to work primarily with scrap fabrics. By choosing to do this, I am forced to look creatively and perceive potential in what may seem to be useless and beyond repair. This is in direct correlation with how I strive to perceive my life and my experiences. As with life, it is sometimes a painstaking and frustrating process, but ultimately I feel joy and satisfaction with the result.
Below are samples of Anthony’s work. You can see more on the UK website called Outside In (which provides a platform for artists who find it difficult to access the art world). The next blog will be an interview with Anthony.