Get to Know Bridge Stehli

Sydney based artist Bridge Stehli tells us about what inspires her, and also about her battles with spiders and her peculiar phobia:

Art is difficult to describe in words that do it justice.

I would describe my style as absurd, nostalgic, obscene, obsessive, laboured, gaudy, anatomically incorrect, historically inaccurate, grotesque, cutesy, contradictory, animated, reflective, secretive, idealistic.

I take inspiration from wherever I can get it. Which is usually cartoons and classic novels. I’ve been known to stay in on a Friday night with an old classic or a stack of Warner Bros cartoons many a time. It’s usually a case of jogging my own memory as a lot of what I work from is already stored in my head, the problem is, it’s quite confusing in there. There’s no real filing system in place so often I will re-visit things several times in order to detangle something useful. I’m currently being haunted by this illustration I remember from when I was a child. It’s vague and I can’t, for the life of me, remember what it’s from but it’s something like dogs dressed up for dinner, the ladies are Afghan hounds and are wearing Georgian corsetry and dresses. They have cleavage that’s sort of…hairy.

Other times, I’ll watch a documentary or read an article about the plight of a particular species of animal and just become kind of obsessed, that will usually lead to a painting. Other times I’ll meet someone, look at them and think ‘fuck, does this guy realize he resembles a lizard?’.

Sydney is sometimes an upper, sometimes a downer. Also it’s full of bloody White-tailed spiders and one of them bit me.

It might surprise people to learn that I am deathly afraid of babies. I would not be coping had I been bitten by a baby.

I’m currently working on a solo show. It’s been a long time coming. It’s killing me. So is my arm. Stupid spider.

Below you will find a couple of examples of Bridge’samazing work. Check out more of her awesomeness at her website.