Steven John Clark for denHolm <em>Loudfoot</em> 2021; limestone. Courtesy of the designers<br/>
© denHolm PTY LTD. Photo: Bobby Clarke

Steven John Clark for denHolm

Steven John Clark for denHolm

Free entry

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Fed Square
Ground Level

View on map

Steven John Clark for denHolm Loudfoot 2021; limestone. Courtesy of the designers
© denHolm PTY LTD. Photo: Bobby Clarke

Steven John Clark for denHolm
(b. 1984, Edinburgh, Scotland. Lives and works in Melbourne)

Steven John Clark established his furniture studio denHolm in 2016, creating sculptural pieces that blur lines between art and design. With a background in stonemasonry, Clark takes inspiration from architecture, fashion, art, literature and the mundane, using conventional materials and techniques in unconventional ways.

Clark’s table Only if you have enough, 2022, is representative of denHolm’s organic, tactile and experimental style. Working with his signature medium, Australian limestone, Clark is guided by instinct and spontaneity. His pieces begin as illustrations rendered on a page, or sometimes on the walls around him, and celebrate the unexpected discoveries and chance imperfections that arise during design and construction.

After learning masonry skills as a teenager in Scotland, Clarke worked in high-end residential construction when he first emigrated to Melbourne in 2010, before he began making stone sculptures and foam works incorporating resin and limestone dust. ‘My work explores the materials I work[ed] with every day in the building trade, manipulating their forms and pushing past their function’, he says.

Combining traditional craftmanship with an exploratory process, Clark’s distinctive aesthetic is characterised by a looseness of line and shape; he reconfigures heavy materials into rounded, bulging and asymmetrical forms. Clark’s creative designs resist what he describes as the ‘the growling appetite of click, cart, and buy’, with all pieces chipped and chiselled by hand in denHolm’s Reservoir studio.

denHolm is named after Clark’s hometown in the Scottish Borders, where his childhood freedom to explore shaped his creative practice. denHolm’s unique range of side, coffee and dining tables retails online, and the brand also works on bespoke commissions. Clark’s designs have been exhibited at Modern Times for Melbourne Design Fair (2022), and have featured in publications including Wallpaper*, RUSSH and Icon. After a stonemasonry apprenticeship, Clark studied fashion and textile design, receiving a degree in embroidery from Manchester Metropolitan University.