A Night on the Isle of Everyday Nightmares
Stephen Walter’s drawings are a tangle of signs, words and images that draw the viewer into the artist’s intricate worlds. His work is crowded with today’s (sub)cultural symbols and obsessive tendencies; but it also celebrates traditional techniques, craftsmanship and Romantic notions of place. Many of Walter’s maps depict real places, such as London in his major work The Island but in other works he constructs imaginary worlds based on ideas of utopia, or maps from storybooks and legend.
His work has been acquired by major public art collections including the British Library, Government Art Collection and London Transport Museum, and exhibited at major venues including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Courtauld Institute of Art and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. In 2010 he was one of just two living artists to have work included in Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art at the British Library. In 2012, Walter was commissioned by the London Transport Museum to create the Map of Subterranean London depicting the city’s underground history.
For The House of Fairy Tales, Walter has looked at the darker side of the fairy tale landscape and moved through half-recognisable places of rampant capitalism and pictorially transported them to an imaginary terrain.