Steven Vella has held a studio in the Lennox Street Studios, in Newtown since 1999 working in several mediums including painting, sculpture, mosaics, assemblages and mural painting. He has studied and worked in graphic design, illustration, fine art and costume art finishing.
He works as a costume art finisher for opera, theatre and film and also teaches at NIDA and Ultimo TAFE. He has been employed as a workshop artist for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Along side this he has continued to create art, taking on public, private and corporate commissions, and exhibiting.
He has exhibited at Mary Place Gallery, Charles Hewitt Gallery NG Art, Lennox Street Studios and many group shows.
He previously worked as mosaic artist for sixteen years, designing and installing numerous public and private commissions. Currently his foremost passion is making assemblages from found organic material, animal by-products and mixed media or painting with shellac, dyes and pigment on metal leaf; moving happily between the two mediums.
‘Nature and the natural world is my first and greatest source of inspiration. Growing up on a sugar cane farm in tropical North Queensland and having an interest in gardening and exploring the rainforest and coastal environments has left a lasting impression’ on what I collect and create.
“By combining materials of diametrically opposing qualities, ethereal and malign or natural and constructed I hope to create an ambiguous fascination with my assemblages. Using materials such as leather, thorns, spines, bone, feathers, and fur, and attaching ornate appendages with existing preserved plant forms into vintage carved wooden bowls. These works sometimes allude to tribal fetish, religion or magic and the rituals of death, or the nineteenth century fascination with preserving and displaying exotic curiosities”.