Agincourt Reef by Stephen Farley

Agincourt Reef by Stephen Farley
Agincourt Reef by Stephen Farley

This multidimensional wall sculpture by Birmingham-based artist Stephen Farley is an abstract take on the breath-taking Great Barrier Reef. Made using layers upon layers of resin, this tactile artwork appears as though it is mushrooming from its surface, and is a visual reflection of Farley’s fluid, intuitive approach to making art.

Agincourt Reef’, a multidimensional wall sculpture by Stephen Farley, is an abstract sculptural portrayal of an area of the Great Barrier Reef. Farley is renowned for his work with resin, with which he has invented his own visual language, including a signature motif he coins spurts. Spurts are a metaphor for liquid impact, used by Farley in layers to create three-dimensional, tactile works of art which often appear to be multiplying and mushrooming from their surface. Inspired by Farley’s heavy interest in marine and microbiology, these spurts take form in a range of materials from steel to resin, and are used to create both figurative and abstract works of art. This particular piece was made by layering hundreds of pieces of resin both big and small, imitating the surface texture of the Great Barrier Reef, which Farley experienced first-hand during his time spent in Australia. He became aware of the fact the Great Barrier Reef was a "disappearing world", and wanted to capture as much of the reef as he could through memory. His resin sculptures absorb and hold onto information like sponges; they act as a travel log of his experiences. “I like to leave a bit to the imagination” The fluid nature many of Farley’s artworks are a reflection of his intuitive and open approach to making art. As discussed in an interview with The Digest, Farley’s works are rarely planned and are often only awarded their meaning post-production. Many of Farley’s works linked to the Great Barrier Reef were made prior to his interest in the subject, and it was only when a viewer drew the visual parallel that Farley began to research the topic himself. This fluid and versatile way of working gives Farley’s works an air of spontaneity, which is ironic given that resin is one of the least spontaneous materials to work with. This irony is also prominent in Farley's choice of highly synthetic materials as a way of imitating organic forms. Compositions such as 'Agincourt Reef' have a distinctive tactility to them; the textures and light refractions of the resin draw us in – they’re almost impossible not to touch. These forms can appear like glass at times, giving them a certain fragility, which is an interesting conflict when considering the durability of resin. These countless contradictions within Farley's oeuvre are what make his works so engaging and distinctive - any piece from his collection would be a valuable addition to any contemporary art collection.

Working and living in Birmingham, Stephen Farley is a 3D artist who works with a range of materials, most notably resin. Farley's works are multifaceted and tactile - they're almost impossible not to touch. This physical aspect of his work has led him to collaborate with charities that support visually impaired people, offering new ways of absorbing art through touch. Farley is a versatile, fluid and intuitive artist - whether a wall piece or a free-standing sculpture, any part of his oeuvre would be a valuable asset to any contemporary art collection, gallery space, or home.

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Agincourt Reef by Stephen Farley
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Agincourt Reef by Stephen Farley
Agincourt Reef by Stephen Farley