Steve Clarkson graduated with a BA in Fine Art from UWIC Cardiff in 1996, completing a PGCE the following year. Throughout his Fine Art studies, he has always been a passionate printmaker and he continues to use printmaking as a core element in his artworks.
From 1998-2000, Steve joined the Bath Artist Printmakers studio and helped establish lithography in the studio whilst also teaching collagraph printing. Since 2000, Steve has been one of four founding members of the Frome Printmakers studio in Somerset, specialising in lithography and relief works. Steve is currently the chair of the studio.
Self-published technical articles on his practice featured in Printmaking Today and Art Review, mostly about developing alternative photography practices into the printmaking studio. The experimental nature of his approach to printmaking led to large commissions with Jaguar Land Rover and Costa Coffee, amongst others.
Steve's work in printmaking embraces modern technologies and often combines them with historic, analogue techniques. He believes technology enables new marks and languages to present ideas in ways relevant today.
His personal interest and passion over the past eight years has been in photography and how the printmaking works can embrace and utilise photographic imagery. For Steve, the digital photograph has also brought about the digital negative which has allowed a significant renaissance of alternative photography techniques. He teaches and uses alternative photography in much of his work. He is equally comfortable in photography, Photoshop or working in historic printmaking methods which has led much of his artistic practice to question how the harmony and discord of these practices can generate new ways to work in the digital age.
Through gum bichromate printing, Steve has been exploring how digitally prepared negatives can be used to generate virtual images. He forms still life images that are composed in Photoshop from a personal database of individual photographs of flowers and bugs. In his Vanitas works, the gum bichromate printing allows control of the colour palette to create the aged look of Old Dutch masters work, imbued with the communication of the Victorian language of flowers.
Steve's current work is focused upon exploring the development of ‘painting’ within fine art practice - how paint can be realised in digital photography works.