Roger Stephens

‘It was a schoolmaster who first introduced me to stone at the age of ten. Lumps of pink alabaster were turned into ashtrays, fruit bowls simple animal shapes. Since those early attempts at creating something, I have been fascinated by the intrinsic properties of stone.

After twenty-five years in retailing, I decided to fulfil my ambition to become a stonemason. A two-year full time course at college led to a job at Salisbury Cathedral, just at the time when they were starting a programme of major repairs. This work gave me the opportunity to carry out detailed carvings on the Spire and West Front.
Nine years later, redundancy loomed and I decided to take another leap and concentrate on my first love, contemporary sculpture.

My work is mainly in stone, occasionally incorporating iron and stainless steel; materials I feel are elemental, hard and uncompromising. This is fundamental to my work. Wherever the idea comes from, natural forms, heavy industry, words, politics, I strive to imbue the piece with an elegant solution. It is important to me that the viewer feels invited to touch, to feel the contrasting textures, to engage with the physical form as well as the intellectual idea. There is a continuous process of exploration, of developing ways to interpret ideas, to challenge the commissioner and viewer.’