Steve Clark’s career trajectory is as unique as his creations. After leaving school at 16 to work as a stonemason and bricklayer in his native Scotland, Clark went on to study Fashion and Design majoring in textiles, before graduating with a degree in Embroidery from Manchester Metropolitan University. Today, Clark is the creator and maker behind Melbourne-based furniture and art brand, Den-Holm.
As part of our annual MAN WEEK, we caught up with Steve in his Reservoir workshop, to discuss concrete, the creative process, and an upcoming collaboration with his wife, artist Bobby Clark.
Our newest contributor Fiona Killackey tells more.
Steve Clark is a man who dreams in 3D. His creations, which are a mix of furniture and art, are so rich with texture, that the want to touch them overrides their obvious visual delight.
‘I surround myself with found objects of interesting shapes, forms, colours and textures,’ says Steve of his creative process. ‘I’m quite a manic worker, with varying materials and interesting tools. I’m constantly working with forms in my mind and reacting to my mistakes, never afraid of taking it too far.’
Steve’s ability to free himself of restrictions has enabled him to create a distinctive aesthetic that merges the traditional craftsmanship of his building past, with the experimental nature of fashion and design. ‘My work explores the materials I work with everyday in the building trade, manipulating their forms and pushing past their function, to make sculptural art and furniture,’ says Clark.
Named after the ‘wee town’ in which he grew up – ‘on the Scottish borders with a population of 600’ – Den-Holm offers concrete and wood chip side tables, sand-stone counters, lime stone stumps, concrete triangle shelves, powder-coated polycrete benches and other stone and timber furniture.
Juggling his art practice with his furniture design is something Steve says suits his personality. ‘I need to have multiple projects running at the same time. I naturally have an overload of ideas constantly running through my head, so the process and structure in the basis of furniture is a welcome contrast to the manic creative side of art making.’
Sharing his love of creating is Clark’s wife, Bobby, an artist who moved with him from Scotland to Australia six years ago. ‘We are working on our first joint exhibition. It’s something we have wanted to do for a long time,’ says Steve. “Bobby’s paintings and my sculptures work so well together and now, I finally have my warehouse, it’s all coming together.’
The Den-Holm range is available to order via email. Selected works are available at Pop & Scott Showroom. Steve and Bobby’s exhibition will launch on November 10th at Den-Holm Studio, 4/74 Newlands Rd, Reservoir, VIC.