This exhibition of en plein air paintings by Stephanie Fuller was created on a recent trip to England in 2014. Stephanie had previously lived, studied and exhibited in England for 13 years. During that time she was working and exhibiting as a sculptor, although the artist made sketches these are her first English en plain air paintings.
Deal view towards Margate 2014, Acrylic on canvas, 53 x 50 cm
Stephanie revisited places that were familiar, choosing to invoke memory as well as spontaneity in the works. During the 80s and 90s the artist lived in Bath, London and had a cottage in Stowlangtoft, a small village in Suffolk.
Margate from the Pier 2014, Acrylic on paper, 19 x 28 cm
In 1952, Stephanie’s father left Margate with his sister, parents, grandparents and uncle to start again in Australia as World War II had taken so much from them. They were looking for a new life.
Margate view from the window 2014, Acrylic on paper, 39 x 57 cm
Having visited Margate once in 1982 with her family, Stephanie felt the need to return and search for the family home and antique store. Her father died in 2011. During his last year he repeatedly talked about Margate and returning there. Following his death, Stephanie felt that she should undertake the pilgrimage on his behalf.
Margate view from window 2014, Acrylic on paper, 57 x 39 cm
Bath view from Alexandra Park 1 2014, Acrylic on paper, 28 x 19 cm
One of the fantastic aspects of en plain air painting is the completely personal vision that the process produces. The artist has to work with such speed on cloudy, windy days, which leaves barely time for thought. The final result is the product of instinct, vision and practice.
Royal Crescent – Bath 2014, Acrylic on paper, 36 x 57 cm
It is said that artists should not use up paint. That is, the paint is always left on the palette when a painting is finished. Stephanie uses these left over colours to produce an instinctive sketch. The one that does not matter if it does not work. She is particularly fond of the paintings produced from left over paint and feels they show the real spontaneity of her artistic endeavour.
In 1982, Stephanie arrived in London in August, by the January she was enrolled in art classes at the local Tech in Putney. The following year she enrolled at Byam Shaw and started a foundation course in art at Heatherly School of Art.
Stephanie returned to Australia in 1984 and enrolled in Claremont School of Art, in the first month of the course she met Peter Fuller, the British art critic, and moved back to London to live with him that year. They married a year later.
In England, Stephanie went to Norwich School of Art, attended the Life Drawing department under John Wonnicott and John Lessore (1984); Bath College of Higher Education, Art Foundation Course (1986-87); and Wimbledon School of Art, London, Sculpture Course (1988-90).
In 1990, Stephanie was in a car accident on the M4 motorway. The driver of the hire car fell asleep on a section of the motorway that was raised because of a stream running underneath. The car drove off the raised road travelling twenty-five meters before hitting the ground the first time. Peter Fuller and their unborn child, Gabriel were killed in the accident. The driver, Stephanie and their other son Laurence survived.
Peter Fuller and son Gabriel Fuller’s grave – Stowlangtoft, Suffolk 2014, Stephanie Burns, Acrylic on paper, 28 x 19 cm
In 1990 Stephanie stopped her course at Wimbledon and started to exhibit as a professional artist.
Copper Beech 2014, Acrylic on paper, 28 x 19 cm