Stephens graduated with First Class Honors
from her B.A. (Hons) in Fine and Applied Arts
degree, June 2010. Following
the completion of a placement year in an American College on the
Business Education Initiative, Stephens returned to complete her final year at the School
of Art and Design, specializing in Textile Art at the University of Ulster, Belfast. Michelle Stephens is now on the 'Making IT' programme with Craft NI, based at the University of Ulster, Belfast until November 2013.
Stephens creates installations, wall mounted works and small scale sculptural objects. Her work combines quality craftsmanship and aesthetics with a highly conceptual approach, often belying the boundaries that are set up between Fine and Applied Arts.
A defining characteristic of her work has been the sustained commitment to the conceptual synthesis of contemporary and historical sources, with particular interest in the exploration of line and structure. She has persistently worked within contested areas of textile practice and believes that the most innovative contemporary textiles emanate from an assured understanding of both textile technique and history.
With this in mind, Stephens has explored and developed abstracted weave techniques, inventing many new and imaginative ways of integrating textiles with other media. Recent work has been inspired by her environment, as for the past year she has been living on the outskirts of New York City. She has utilised computer laser cutting, wood, metal and paint alongside abstracted woven techniques in this new body of work. Exploring the illusionary space between two and three dimensions, these works are dramatic, rhythmic and holographic in feel with intense woven details that merge at a distance into strong optical weave configurations. The work's density and dynamics remain intact through the exploration and our comprehension of line.
Michelle Stephens is supported by