'An Architecture of Joy', solo exhibition, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, July-August 2016. Exhibition responding to 18 month research and development project investigating 1930s seaside moderne architecture in North West England and Scotland, as well as corresponding research at the V&A, Whitworth and RIBA archives. Each artwork responds to a particular example of modernist seafront architecture.


 'The Sea Breeze was The Cure', drawing and painting digitally printed on wallpaper, 2016. 3.2m x 7m.

This work was made in response to the Rothesay Pavilion on the West Coast of Scotland. The title comes from a passage in the unfinished novel by Jane Austen; 'Sandition', where she describes how spending time at the seaside can cure any known ailment.

 

 

 

 

 

 'The Apotheosis of Contemporary Design', drawing and painting on 1930s Walnut Burl cabinet, Fabriano paper, glass panel, 1m x 70cm x 80cm, 2016.

This work was made on reflection to the spaces and design of the iconic Midland Hotel in Morecambe. The cabinet refers to the only existing cabinet from the original design, which many visitors hold as a symbol of it's history. The title of the work is the phrase the press used to describe it to architectural critics when opening in 1933.

 

 

 

Above: 'Not Just A Casino', drawing and painting on Fabriano in 1903's original chromium plated frame in skyscraper style, 18cm x 10cm, 2016.

This work was made in response to the design of the Pleasure Beach and Casino designed by architect Joseph Emberton in the 1930s.

Below: 'The Apotheosis of Contemporary Design', 2016.

 

 

 

 'The Marriage 1/2', Embroidery on cotton, original 1930's photograph frame, 25cm x 21xm x 5cm, 2016

 

 

'The Marriage 2/2', Embroidery on cotton, original 1930's photo frame, 25cm x 21cm x 5cm, 2016.

The Marriage 1/2 and 2/2 were made in response to The Carron Restaurant in Stonehaven, which is 1930's restaurant, with the existing decoration in excellent condition, due to restoration by proprietors over the year. The title refers to the many wedding tea parties that were held there during the 1940's onwards, including Steele's own grandparents.

 

 

 


'A Restorative Resort', drawing and painting digitally printed on cotton, walnut burl pelmet. 5m x 3.5m x 3m. 2016

This work was made in response to visits to the interior of the Blackpool Opera House, guided by local historian Ted Lightbown. The piece draws from decorative architecture features such as light fittings, air vents and flooring, which often go missed during the hustle and bustle of a show.