Holly Stevenson: The Great Egg Debate

The artist introduces us to her London locale and her surreal duck-inspired ceramic work for Frieze Sculpture 2023

in Frieze London & Frieze Masters , News , Videos | 01 SEP 23
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In this film, we visit artist Holly Stevenson’s south London neighbourhood, including her studio next to the Thames Barrier, and a nearby duck pond*, exploring how this landscape inspired her work The Debate for Frieze Sculpture 2023. 

The Debate is a ceramic installation consisting of two near-life-sized adult figures and half an oversized boiled egg. Typical of the Stevenson’s work, the figures combine both abstract and figurative elements, which, following the glazing process, form anthropomorphic birds reminiscent of ducks. Depending on the direction that viewers approach them, the figures seem to be looking either at a complete egg with the potential for hatching, or one half of a sliced boiled egg. Either way, the work reads on impact as though two friends are engaged in conversation in the park, discussing this very egg.  

As part of the artist’s psychogeographic landscape connected to the Thames, we also visit her publicly accessible sculpture Another Mother, which serves as a secret portrait of Maria Kough Bazalgette, at theCOLAB Artist’s Garden on top of Temple tube station (also on the banks of the river), a project realized in partnership with, and supported by, Westminster City Council. 

Continuing the avian theme, Stevenson was formerly a keen member of the Young Ornithologists’ Club (YOC) and will be hosting a Frieze vegan-egg picnic for Frieze Sculpture. She herself is not a vegan (yet). 

Stevenson is represented by Pi Artworks and Sid Motion Gallery at Frieze Sculpture 2023

Ceramic sculpture of a green hued duck with an egg on its back
Holly Stevenson, A Duck for Georgia, 2022. Ceramic, 24 x 31 x 16 cm. Courtesy the artist

About Holly Stevenson 

During her History of Art degree from Glasgow University, Holly Stevenson wrote a dissertation on Roman souvenirs from the 1600 to the present day. With the generous help of the Stanley Picker Trust, she went on to achieve a Fine Art MA from Chelsea College of Art and Design after which she gained an MFI Flat Time House Graduate Award, supported by the John Latham Foundation. Works from her ongoing psychoanalytic project ‘Sigmund Freud’s Ashtray’ have been shown nationally. In the recent show ‘Body Poetics’, her practice was paired with that of Louise Bourgeois. Stevenson also participated in ‘Laboratorio Piramide’, which concluded with a show at Richard Saltoun, Rome. She completed a ceramic public art commission for The CoLAB’s Artist’s Garden and an offsite project for Sid Motion Gallery in which she substituted JW Anderson’s shoes for ceramic ones. 


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*The artist would like to stress that both she and the Frieze team know the difference between a goose and a duck, but all the ducks were hiding on the day of filming.