‘In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks’
- John Muir (1838-1914)
Zuleika Gallery is delighted to present A Stone is a Rock Out of Place a solo exhibition by British artist Amy Stephens (b.1981) opening from 29 September until 1 November 2021 at Zuleika Gallery, Woodstock.
In her first solo show at Zuleika Gallery, Amy Stephens celebrates the Rollright Stones through sculpture and photography. With the monoliths residing only 14 miles from the gallery, the artist is offering these atectonic rocks a new spatial logic.
The definition of a stone in the Oxford English Dictionary is ‘a hard solid mineral substance that is found in the ground, often used for building.’ Spanning nearly two thousand years of Neolithic and Bronze age development, it is believed that the Rollright Stones were collected from within five hundred metres of the site. In the neighbouring Cotswold villages, this material has been used extensively for building churches, houses and stone walls.
The artist has created a series of photographic works that capture these megalithic monuments located on the border between Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. The overlay of circular forms highlights the Jurassic oolitic limestone, a sedimentary rock formed from ooids: spherical grains composed of concentric layers.
In the main gallery, an undulating Perspex form is suspended from the ceiling offering a portal onto the pop up landscape behind. On the other side of the gallery, a series of colourful mini-monoliths create a playful interaction and evoke architectural forms within the space, a stark contrast with the static oolitic stones.
The artist’s use of bright colours throughout the exhibition references her experience of how visitors to the Rollright Stones celebrate the site. People bring ribbons and small gifts that ultimately change and embellish the patterns of the stones on a regular basis.
This exhibition further develops Stephens' fascination for geology and everyday objects, in which she continually reuses and repurposes materials resisting the ossifying force of limits and boundaries. Within her practice, stones and rocks are offered a deserved reverence and an awareness when they are suddenly out of place within the natural world.
A Stone is a Rock Out of Place has been curated by Tim Sayer MBE, journalist, collector and benefactor.