Awards for Artists
Image of Steven Claydon
Photo credit: Emile Holba

Steven Claydon

London-based artist Steven Claydon (born 1969) is concerned with how objects move from raw material to cultural artefact. A recurring focus of his work is materiality, ranging from atomic structure to culturally-constructed meanings and properties. In addition to his practice as an artist, Claydon has also been involved in experimental electronic music for over 20 years, most notably as part of the bands Add N to X, Jack to Jack (with Mark Leckey) and Long Meg.

Claydon’s artworks span a broad spectrum of aesthetics, techniques and disciplines, including sculpture, video, performance and painting. Through collage and juxtaposition, he draws unlikely equivalences between different sources, challenging the authority of socially and historically accepted taxonomies and relationships.

In his recent work, Claydon has posed the question of whether objects and concepts – emancipated from specific uses and contexts – may be understood in terms of the evolutionary survival strategies seen in humans and animals.

Claydon has exhibited extensively around the world. His latest exhibitions include The Archipelago of Contented Peoples: Endurance Groups, at the Common Guild, Glasgow, and Introduced Species of Micronesia, Mount Stuart Castle, Isle of Bute, Scotland. In 2016 he was nominated for the inaugural Hepworth Prize for Sculpture. Other solo exhibitions include Sadie Coles HQ, London; Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève; Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen; Firstsite, Colchester, UK; La Salle de Bains, Lyon, France; Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany; and Serpentine Pavilion, London. In 2017 an extensive monograph on Claydon’s work was published by CAC Genève and Mousse Publishing.

This award could not have come at a better time. I’m incredibly grateful both to whoever nominated me and to the judges. I feel a great sense of relief and release – in a word, unburdened. My practice has developed into a monstrous organism that needs constant care and feeding. Now I can afford to take my eye off the cuckoo and occasionally tend to the nest. Thank you Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Examples of work

Zoetrope: The Earth Becoming World, 2017

Zoetrope: The Earth Becoming World, 2017

Steel, polyurethane resin, gold-plated resin, painted resin, gym mat, hydroponic light. 143.5 x 100 x 100 cm / 56 ⅜ x 39 ¼ x 39 ¼ in. Installation view, The Archipelago of Contented Peoples: Endurance Groups, The Common Guild, Glasgow, Scotland, 22 April – 09 July 2017. Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London.

Arafura: The Earth Becoming World, 2017

Arafura: The Earth Becoming World, 2017

Laminated MDF, rare earth magnets, bark cloth, painted animation cells. 159.6 x 109.5 x 15 cm / 62 ¾ x 43 x 5 ⅞ in. Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London.

Stochastic Conveyor (Transference), 2016

Stochastic Conveyor (Transference), 2016

Gold-plated copper, resin, steel. 191 x 640 x 60 cm / 75 ⅛ x 252 x 23 ½ in. Installation view, The Gilded Bough, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 01 March – 02 April 2016. Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London.

Voyager Assembly, 2016

Voyager Assembly, 2016

Resin, steel. 154 x 76 x 63 cm / 60 ⅝ x 29 ⅞ x 24 ¾ in. Installation view, The Gilded Bough, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 01 March – 02 April 2016. Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London.