Dark House Studio
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Bonnie and Clyde

Biography

Steph Burnley a.k.a Bonnie and Clyde is an artist and printmaker who uses photography, paint, collage and print to construct graphic mixed media pieces and limited edition prints.

Originally studying Furniture and 3D Design at Kingston University before setting up her own successful graphic design business in Manchester. Here she created everything from posters, brochures, book sleeves and T-shirts to signage and festival campaigns for clients such as Brighton Dome, Women’s Arts International Festival (Cumbria), The Whitworth Art Gallery (Manchester) Contact Theatre (Manchester) and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.

She then decamped to Brighton with her beloved cameras to live by the sea and it was here she learned the art of screen-printing which led on to the artwork produced today.

Inspired by everything from signage and iconography to music, film and the lives of other people, Bonnie and Clyde responds emotionally to socio-political occurrences intertwined with personal circumstances. A keen photographer, she enjoys travelling and capturing images that explore her interests in street photography, architecture, the sea and psychogeography, which are then appropriated into the artwork.

Specific themes in her work include the iconic landscape of California featuring the vibrant architecture and palm trees of Santa Monica and Venice Beach in LA.

Other cities and places are featured in different artworks from Tokyo and Mexico, Greece and Italy to London and the British seaside.
Havana, Cuba is another heavily featured city conveyed using a combination of black and white imagery with highly saturated areas of textured paint, happy clouds with ice-cream tones collaged onto a distressed heavy paper canvas. Many are playful scenes exploring freeze frame motion and distorted perspectives.

Using life models is currently a main focus of influence. Gaining an understanding of the featured model’s individual character and story is of most interest. This is the basis on which Bonnie and Clyde creates a simple narrative which then guides, builds and grows in each artwork.

As well as being inspired by architecture Bonnie and Clyde admires many artists; Tracey Emin, Linda Sterling, Peter Blake, Bill Viola and Laurie Anderson to name a few, and lists her influences as David Hockney, Andy Warhol and the New York ‘no wave’ scene. She finds all other creative avenues equally inspiring from music, film and architecture to design and photography.
“I love visiting new places, absorbing my surroundings. The colours, the sounds, the architecture, the fear, the joy… and translating that into my art. “Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde now exhibits with a number of Galleries and sells at Art Fairs across the country and internationally, as well as working on commissions to private collectors.

She continues to work from her studio in Brighton, traveling often, and selling her work all over the world.

Artist Statement

My method of working often begins with photography taken with a rangefinder camera in cities that inspire and create emotional responses in me. I am often drawn to urban environments and the sea and the people in their environment, the architecture, the light, the colour and the textures.

My art consists of accessible modern speaking visual pictures that draw the viewer in and I use layers of photomontage to express this. Real elements are merged with texture, words and colour to create abstract scenes based on the social and political scene of the studied environment. I often use typography, signage, objects and architecture in my work.

I construct collages initially with my computer using photographs I’ve taken as a basis and merge layers of web images, pictures from magazines and the web. I separate out the elements, print these onto semi transparent Japanese paper and montage onto large sheets of paper or wood. I paint and mark-make using acrylics, inks, oil pastels, markers, Letraset and screen-print building up to the finished piece.

The collage is then deconstructed using the computer again to create a limited edition screenprint version of the collage. This is not a copy but often a more crisp representation of the collage. It is made of a chosen number of layers, usually one of which will be a giclee print and then various layers of block colour and glazes to add punch and texture to the print. Other times it is separated into 15- 20 layers and screen-printed entirety.