top of page

manon Steyaert-MAGPIE- 27.10.23-18.11.23


For her first solo show at WAY gallery,  Manon Steyaert presents a new body of work titled: ‘Magpie’. Born 1996, Steyaert is a French British artist living and working in London, UK. Situating her practice in between painting and sculpture, blending the two mediums to create works that ignite our curiosities and seeks to warp our perceptions towards the mediums. 


‘Magpie’ is a letter to her younger self, accepting her desires of being directed by the gaze and what may steal it away from her, leaning into the process and letting the material dictate. Having been attracted to shiny qualities in objects when young, Steyaert refocuses this attraction into dreamlike works and essences of floating semi-transparent fabric, stemming away from the traditional notions of painting and letting form and colour lead the making process. Drawing the attention of the viewer to the surface of the work only to push them back to analyse the support system of the work and challenging the viewers perception of what they think they know of sculpture and painting. Steyaert dives into her background in fashion and affinity for materials, creating three dimensional works from two dimensional patterns to almost dress the canvas with mesmerising folds. Elements of ‘dressing’ the canvas questions an idea of surface ornamentation and highbrow connotations within fine art, showing works with playful aesthetics, in which challenging the medium. 


In this new body of work Steyaert focuses on taking the ‘painting’ off its traditional canvas frame and letting it hang on its own to create formless wall based sculptures. The semi-transparent silicone sheets evoke an essence of floating, a work in limbo between mediums, passing from one to the other as the viewer approaches. These playful knotted works hung off hand bent see-through acrylic hooks almost flirt with the viewer, questioning where it ‘starts’ and ‘finishes’. These works protrude into the space allowing for a wider viewing, furthermore, Steyaert relies on light gently reflecting off the surface by having carefully placed layers of iridescent material within the silicone, drawing in the eye, like a magpie finding its way to a shiny object. Steyaert wants us to become self-aware in the act of looking, to be curious in the layers of the work, the depth in the knots and to question why we are curious, what is it that attracts us to walk towards and around the works. 


In the larger more classical rectangular shaped works, Steyaert leans further into gestural abstraction, allowing colours to blend and interact further in comparison to her previous block geometric like works. Within these works Steyaert focuses on the corners of the works, using metallic inks within the pigment to enable a shine to attract our eye to the edge of the work. In focusing on the corners Steyaert points out the power of light and awareness in what we may see out of the corner of our eyes, bringing childlike curiosities into the present. 


bottom of page