Steve Thompson has embraced this art form. Steve originally hails from Melbourne and is an intelligent and affable man who finds that rural life nurtures his creative nature. For someone who had earned a living in ways as diverse as mining to sales, finance to driving, the freedom for expression was exciting and exhilarating. He took to stone carving, stained glass and crystal wandmaking, so that when he settled in Maleny some twenty years ago, it was the perfect environment for his further development. Steve broadened his artistic skills into performance poetry, stand-up comedy and street theatre at Woodford Folk Festival, but also into making props from swords to goblets to lost wax jewellery and even costumes. But it was several years working as an assistant to an engineer/inventor that provided him with the practical skills to create the Steampunk sculptures he now imagines.
“The art I do is about problem solving,” Steve explains, “the shelves of my studio are overflowing with components. Brass bits, wooden bits, glass bits, gemstones, meteorites, alabaster, oyster shells, clock parts etc. etc. The challenge starts when I find a bit that looks like something…maybe a helmet or a jet-pack. Then the search commences and I go through everything again for the gazillionth time to find the rest of this thing I’m imagining. Then it’s cutting, grinding, drilling, polishing and somehow attaching”.
Steve’s artworks are unique. They meld a fertile mind and fabulous sense of humour with practical capabilities and a drive to engage. They are intriguing for being contemporary and yet oddly historical and futuristic all at once, demanding the viewer to look again and again to fathom out each component. His clever designs with meteorites, has them suspended by the attraction from a magnet, so that stone appears to be floating in the air. Many sculptures seem to suggest that they should “do something”, but what they do is to feed our imaginations and lead us into our own ideas. This level of engagement makes them endlessly entertaining. In Steve’s words “I do what I do…to extract a smile or a laugh or a ‘wow’. When my art does that, as far as I’m concerned I’ve been successful”.
Steampunk Sculptures by Steve Thompson can be seen at ‘Art on Cairncross’ by anyone wanting to smile, laugh or be ‘wowed’!