Steve Messam is an environmental artist based in the north of England. With his site-specific installations, he sets visual accents in rural or urban settings, which include historical relics and vacant architecture that make us perceive the familiar environment in a new way. He is also interested in space: the interaction of art and audience within confined and open spaces, the role of aesthetics and the physical experience.
Steve has worked around the world, but is best known for his pieces in Cumbria and for founding FRED – Europe’s largest annual site-specific art festival, when ran from 2004-2008. His works include Beached, 2007, in which he filled a beach with thousands of sandcastles and paper flags; Landscape Bubble, in 2006 in which a bubble was thrown over a redundant building in the North Pennines, and Souvenir in 2006 with a line of giant balls made from hundreds of red umbrellas in the heart of Shanghai. He has a particular interest in the cultural reference points inherent in the work of artists living in rural communities and exploiting the assets of landscape, agriculture and community for challenging the preconceptions of contemporary rural arts practice.