Britain and its national psyche are at the core of London based photographer Luke Stephenson's work. For over a decade he has been photographing subjects that, for him, epitomize British eccentricity and culture, including puppets, the iconic ‘99’ ice cream and the World Beard and Moustache Championships.
In 2009 Stephenson discovered the peculiar and insular world of show bird competitions and began to immerse himself in the subculture of ‘bird fancying’. He has spent the past seven years tracking down and gaining access to ever more exotic species to photograph, inadvertently becoming an avid collector of these prized birds himself.
This exhibition showcases Stephenson’s newest works in the series An Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds. By combining his unique style of photography withthe formal language of studio portraiture, the artist lends his feathered subjects an affectionate and often human presence.
Also showing at Selfridges, London is In Fine Feather, an additional large-scale presentation of more of Stephenson’s bird portraits (16 Jan – 3 Apr 2017).
Luke Stephenson (born in 1983, Darlington, England) lives and works in London. Since graduating in 2005 and winning the Jerwood Photography Prize the same year, Stephenson has been working as a freelance photographer focusing on eccentric British hobbies and exposing fascinating “archaeological layers of English culture” hidden from the mainstream.
His work has been published in a variety of publications including The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, Dazed & Confused, Foam, Art Review and Wallpaper*.