Luke Stephenson An Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds

Print Sales Gallery presents An Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds, an exhibition of new works from photographer Luke Stephenson (b. 1983, UK). Never seen before, this collection is a continuation from Stephenson’s 2009 critically acclaimed and best-known series to date, featuring his distinctive and quirky portraits of show birds.

Art Exhibition previously on at The Photographers' Gallery in Greater London, United Kingdom.
From Thursday 19 January 2017 to Sunday 19 February 2017

Luke Stephenson An Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds image

Published by anonymous on Friday 16 December 2016.
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Britain and its national psyche are at the core Stephenson’s work. For over a decade now he has been photographing subjects that, for him, epitomize British eccentricity and culture: from puppets to a series of portraits of the eponymous 99 ice cream, and the World Beard and Moustache Championships.

In 2009 Stephenson discovered the peculiar and insular world of show bird competitions. Immersing himself in the subculture of ‘bird fancying’, the artist has spent the past seven years tracking down and gaining exclusive access to ever more exotic species to photograph; inadvertently becoming an avid collector of these prized birds, not by owning them but simply by adding them to his ever-growing photographic series.

An Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds has grown into an obsession for Stephenson, an on-going quest to find and photograph the world’s most alluring birds. Adopting the formal and precise ‘language’ of show-bird photography, Stephenson imbues it with a quality that borrows from studio portraiture lending his feathered subjects an almost human presence. Using a custom-built miniature portrait studio, Stephenson shoots against a range of colour-saturated backgrounds, which offset their individual characteristics. Each bird appears to play to the camera, showing off their best features, turning their heads, preening, lowering their eyes, even appearing at times to be winking.

In addition to the exhibition at Print Sales Gallery, Selfridges, London has commissioned a series of 12 large-scale prints drawn from the series. In Fine Feather will be displayed on impressive 2.5 × 1.3m light boxes to run in parallel, which will be on show in store from 16 January – 3 April 2017.

Prices start at £700+ VAT with prints produced in various sizes. Additional works from these series are available to view and purchase on request.