Based in: Wimbledon
Kevin Stamper works in wood and wood veneers and uses form, colour and texture as the key elements of his work. He pushes the boundaries of what is normally achievable with the medium of solid wood and wood veneers, utilizing the nature of the material to add drama to his compositions. He takes inspiration from the natural landscape and by reinterpreting classical art motifs.
He trained at Winchester as an art and design teacher, studying under tutors who had learned their craft with the Barsnley furniture company. He started his own furniture making company in 1992 making unique bespoke pieces for individual clients and galleries. He moved the workshop to its current location in Wimbledon, London in 1997. In addition to the large furniture pieces he has become known for he also focusses his experience and craft skills to create wall-hanging art pieces and decorative boxes. The new work is an extension of his practice in furniture and is made to the same exacting standards, but allows for a much greater degree of freedom and experimentation.
“As a natural material, timber has an energy of its own and after years of trying to accommodate and control this force, I now relish the notion that the wood will twist, warp, split and crack of its own accord, creating new and dynamic shapes and textures. I give the work a starting point and a general direction in which to proceed, the material then takes over and finds its own path to completion.
The tantalizing tipping point between a simple collection of coloured squares and an identifiable image has always fascinated me; as the eye takes in the work, the mind tries to organize the image into a recognizable object or impression. The viewer moves closer, then withdraws, squints and tilts their head as an image begins to explain itself, sometimes immediately, sometimes evolving at a gentler pace as the composition is dwelt upon.”
He only works in sustainable temperate timbers, such as oak and sycamore, and uses veneers such as burr oak, which is a very ecologically sound way of making the most of a precious resource. The burr oak is sometimes fumed with ammonia to give it a deep brown tone that makes it sometimes hard to identify on first sight; viewers have confused it with beaten steel and old leather amongst other things. The sycamore is hand-dyed using dyes that allow the natural grain patterns of the wood to shine through and add lightness to the composition when cut into squares and arranged in pixelated patterns. The juxtaposition of the deep brown oak and the brightly coloured sycamore squares creates a vivid landscape which the viewer can reflect upon and interpret in their own time. By its nature, the work is very tactile with undulating waves and contrasting textures in the rough open grained oak and the smooth polished sycamore, inviting the viewer to touch and feel the warmth of the material. All pieces are finished with a very clear acrylic lacquer which protects the timber and helps to prevent the colours fading in sunlight.
2019 – Future Icons, The Goldsmiths Centre, London
2019 – The Future of Craft, Oxo Tower, London
2019 – Decorex International, London UK
2018 – Decorex International, London UK
2018 – The Other Art Fair, Bristol, UK
2018 – Artrooms Roma, Rome, Italy
2017 – Kevin Stamper, 67 York Street Gallery, London, UK
2016 – Kevin Stamper, Plateaux Gallery at Thomas Goode, Mayfair, London, UK
2016 – Kevin Stamper, Luxury Made, Olympia, London, UK
2015 – Kevin Stamper, Design Shanghai, Shanghai Exhibition Centre, Shanghai, China
Kevin Stamper, Artifex Gallery, Birmingham UK
2017 – Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design, Thirlestaine Long Gallery, Cheltenham, UK
Future Icons Winter Showcase, 67 York Street Gallery, London, UK
2016 – Society of Designer Craftsman Summer Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London, UK
2015 – 21st Century Design, The Millinery Works, Islington, UK
2014 - Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design, Thirlestaine Long Gallery, Cheltenham, UK
2013 – 21st Century Design, The Millinery Works, Islington, UK
2014 – Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers Design Award
2012 – Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers Design Award
2018 – Encyclopaedia of Woodworking, Jeremy Broun, Quarto Books
2018 – The Craft of Veneering, Craig Thibodeau, Taunton Press
2018 – Christie’s Real Estate Magazine, review of artwork and furniture, UK
Succede Oggi, Rome, Italy, review of artwork, Italy
2017 – Confessions of a Design Geek, online magazine, interview with Kevin Stamper, UK
2016 – Sphere Magazine (Autumn) Influencer, Purple Grain, interview with Kevin Stamper, UK
House and Garden (October), Blurred Lines, UK
2015 – Wall Street Journal, Furniture to Dye For, interview with Kevin Stamper, Ruth Bloomfield, Newspaper, USA
2014 – Furniture and Cabinet Making, 20 minutes with Kevin Stamper, Magazine, UK
The natural would, both on a macro scale whilst out walking in beautiful scenery and on a micro scale when looking at the elements that make up an individual item. I also enjoy reinterpreting classical art motifs from famous artists such as Miro and Malevich and using them to decorate box tops.
Ideas enter my mind almost fully formed and need a minimum of tweaking to make them work, in fact, the more I tend to 'develop' them, the less they seem to become. I think this is true of most artists, it's recognising when to stop, that the work is finished, where the real skill lies.
Colour Form Texture
James Krenov, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Frank Lloyd Wright, the Bauhaus Movement, Joan Miro, Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian
My set of hand tools - chisels and planes in particular, carefully acquired and always sharp.
Make your work quietly and patiently, present it strongly and bravely
Outside, whether it's a natural or a built environment. Art galleries and exhibitions.
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