Steve McPherson

Steve McPherson

Margate, Kent, United Kingdom

About Steve McPherson

Since 2007 Steve McPhersons primary source materials have been the discarded plastic objects that wash ashore on his local Kent coast of the UK. While it is impossible to ignore the environmental concerns present in his work, he draws analogies with his practice akin to the role of archaeologist/collector/and paradoxical treasure hunter. It is the alchemical processing of these remnants that he explores within a multidisciplinary practice. Via experimental tests of recycling and re-purposing, he seeks to plunder personal and collective narratives and bring them back to the surface of memory for new consideration.

Steve McPherson is an internationally exhibited artist whose practice includes, assemblage, collections, sculptural objects, installation, book works, photography, and sound. These are undertaken in aesthetics born from utility, science, collections, the laboratory and museum. Reflecting his interest in the way that the mundane can move through a transformative state into meaning.

".... Not only do the works highlight the problem of the amount of debris in the sea…. the mysterious, the unusual, the forgotten and lost. But these wreckage pieces these objects symbolise the history of the world up to this point, they are contemporary and future archaeology. They both explain and are unexplained at the same time. Each remnant acts as a conduit between potential, real and imaginary worlds, where personal and cultural memory reside. These are the objects of our lives, this is the material of the technologically advanced." Steve McPherson

Julian Hanford’s Plastic Song short film shares Steve’s daily efforts to produce his creations. Plastic Song changes our perception of plastic pollution and will make us think about how we each can take action to reduce our individual and collective waste and protect the natural environment


2006: Certificate of Education (post compulsory). Canterbury Christchurch University
1998: MA, Sculpture. Winchester School of Art, Hampshire.
1997: BA (Hon’s), Fine Art Sculpture. Kent Institute of Art and Design, Canterbury, Kent.


Most recently in 2017-18 McPherson has been undertaking commissions with private clients, has had work in the Museum touring exhibition ‘Plastic Entanglements’ USA, and was also showcased by Lush Cosmetics at their Naked House exhibition in London and New Orleans, for their Creative Review in September 2107.

The previous year saw his solo exhibition ‘An Undesirable Archive’, in Margate, Kent. Whilst earlier on in 2016 he was awarded a residency and commission at National Museum of Marine Science & Technology, Taiwan, for the Keelung International Marine Art Project.

In late 2014 the British Council sent McPherson to Cairo, Egypt to delivery 'Re-thinking' workshops to Artists from Yemen, and in 2015 his latest work with marine plastic was exhibited during the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne 2015, France. In the same year a collection of his works were shown in the touring exhibition 'Gyre - The Plastic Ocean' which finalised at the San Jose State University Thompson Gallery, USA in Feb 2016.

In 2011 he created 'Siren Signal', a series of sculptural and sound interventions on board the Lightship LV21, in Kent. This led him in 2011-12, to undertake a series of research residencies on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, to develop 'Array', an interactive sculpture and sound piece for the b-side festival, part of the Cultural Olympiad of 2012, located at the entrance to the sailing events in Weymouth. During this time he exhibited his growing environmental photographic work 'An Undesirable Archive' (now number 3000+ images of individual pieces of plastic pollution in situ on UK beaches), in both Berlin and Turin, and more recently London, Switzerland, Finland, France and Italy.

Since 2010 McPherson has collaborated artistically to promote the work of a range of marine conservation groups including the Marine Conservation Society, Surfers Against Sewage, Race for Water Foundation, The Algalita Marine Research Foundation, The Plastiki Expedition, and Plastic Oceans.

From 2009 his works have appeared in many hard copy and online journals and publications including; New American Paintings, Proc Ne?! Magazine, Segel Journal, City Lab, Alaska Dispatch, A Very Good Place Magazine, Global Blue, Liv Magazine, Creating Artist Books, Resurgence Magazine, Alternatives Journal, Coast Magazine, Aesthetica Magazine, Pushing Out The boat Magazine, and ITCH Magazine

2004 saw his artist books/diary journals included in the ‘Contemporary Artists’ Books 1960-2004′, Public Lecture, at Tate Modern. Also in Feb 2007, at the ‘The hybrid lexicon’ lecture during the CODEX Symposium at University of California, USA. In 2011 his work was shown during The Fifth International Marine Debris Conference, Hawai'i.

In 2000 McPherson was awarded Bursary membership from the Royal Society of British Sculptors. In 2003 he completed an Artist Residency with the Bonhoga Gallery in the Shetland Isles. In the year following, his solo show ‘From Here – Where You Are’, presented the resulting de-constructed maps and photographic imagery.

From 2003 McPherson’s work has been exhibited at art fairs, in the UK, USA and mainland Europe.

He continues to exhibit a diverse range of artworks in an equal amount of differing venues across the UK, in both solo and group shows. Including London; Woolf gallery, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, Orange Dot Gallery, Store Street Gallery, Mafuji Gallery, The Blue Gallery, Brixton Art Gallery. Elsewhere in the UK he has exhibited works amongst others at Canterbury Cathedral, ONCA Gallery Brighton, Reading Museum, Folkestone Triennial Fringe, Plumbline & Orchard Gallery, St Ives.


2019: in the future. Pie Factory, Margate, UK
2019: Environmental Impact, Hofstra University, Museum of Art, USA
2019: CALM & Loyel Carner Album Launch Exhibition and Auction, London, UK
2019: Art and Science, St Pauls School, London, UK
2019: ‘Plastic Entanglements’, Palmer Museum of Morden, Art USA
2019: AAF, Brussels, Belgium
2019: London Art Fair, London, UK
2019: The other Art fair, Old Truman Brewery, London, UK
2018: ‘The Blues’, BoEcho Gallery, London, UK
2018: The other Art fair, Victoria House, London, UK
2018: Plastic Entanglements’, Palmer Museum of Morden, Art USA
2018: The Naked House, Lush North America, New Orleans, USA
2018: 'Noir Sur Blanc’, BoEcho Gallery, London, UK
2017: Plastic Paradise, Credo Bonum Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
2017: The Naked House, Lush Creative Review, London, UK 2017: The other Art fair, Victoria House, London, UK
2016: ‘An undesirable archive’ Pie Factory, Margate, UK
2016: ‘International Marine Environment Art Project’, National Museum of Marine
Science & Technology, Taiwan
2016: 'Gyre- The Plastic Ocean' Natalie and James Thompson Gallery, San José State University, USA
2015: ‘In-significance’ (Solo), Gallery 7, Margate, UK
2015: ‘Form Follows Information’ Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne, France
2015: Race for Water, Odyssey Event, Bordeaux, France
2015: 'Gyre- The Plastic Ocean' Fisher Museum of Art, University Southern California, USA
2014: 'In here Out there' Sculpture at Canterbury Cathedral
2014: ‘Scope Basel', Victori Contemporary, Miami.
2014: MARLISCO Exhibition Museo Civico Archeologico, Teramo, Italy
2014: 'Gyre- The Plastic Ocean' Anchorage Museum, Alaska, USA
2014: 'INorganic', Onca Gallery, Brighton, UK
2014: ‘Art Wynwood’, Victori Contemporary, Miami.
2013: 'Not A Drop', London, UK
2013: 'Race For Water', Geneva, Switzerland
2013: 'Import/Export', Tornio, Finland
2013: 'FFound' Woolff gallery London, UK
2012: 'HydroMemories', Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali, Turin, Italy
2012: 'Array', (solo), Cultural Olympiad, b-side, Multimedia & Arts Festival, Dorset, UK
2012: 'Packet Soup' Exhibition, Savvy Contemporary, Berlin, Germany
2012: 'The Whitley Cup', Reading Museum, Berkshire, UK
2011: 'Siren Signal', (solo) Light Vessel 21, Gillingham, Kent
2010: 'Save Our Seas', Marine Conservation Society
2006: ‘Discerning Eye’, Mall Galleries, London
2004: ‘From here – where you are’ (Solo) , Bonhoga Gallery, Shetland
2003: ‘Landscape’ The Blue Gallery, London.
2003: Palm Beach Art Fair, USA, The Blue Gallery