Stephen Guyatt – Artist and Author – Cotswold Based
Stephen Guyatt’s work during the Covid Lockdowns has been large steel sculptures of birds of prey. The sculptures were on display in August and October 2020 at the newly refurbished Winchcombe Museum, they drew in plenty of visitors. The museum was trying to maintain a presence in the town even though they could not fully open due to COVID 19 restrictions.
Stephen, who writes under the pseudonym Stephan von Clinkerhoffen, also displayed some prints of his artwork from his award winning book series “The Hidden City of Chelldrah-ham”.
The novels are a fantasy adventure series for young adults (and the young at heart). The fantasy characters arrive on Earth in the third book, visiting Cheltenham, Winchcombe and surrounding areas. Stephen enjoyed his trip to South Dakota to collect two of the Gold awards he won for the books. He also displayed a selection of his original paintings and sculptures.
Around the world and back again. Stephen is Cheltenham born and bred, he and his wife emigrated to New Zealand in 2001. They enjoyed the Kiwi lifestyle in both Auckland and Christchurch, but the destructive Christchurch earthquakes forced him onto another course. He volunteered for the civil defence, touring areas of Christchurch in an army truck and assessing those worst hit and then reporting back to HQ. Realising how bad the devastation was, and how desperate the people were, he volunteered for the Red Cross and became the first member of the Flying Squad going out day to day helping devastated people in their damaged homes. Before he knew it three and a half years had passed. The experience had been so traumatic that he found he was unable to paint anything but grim, dark images. Years before he had toyed with writing a novel about a fantasyland, so he tried to paint that place.
He wrote a very short story describing the painting and soon another painting grew in his mind, then he began to write the novel using more paintings to explore the new landscapes in detail. This was the start of his four book series “The Hidden City of Chelldrah-ham”. Until the earthquakes Stephen had been working on his art, oil paintings capturing the landscapes and cityscapes of New Zealand. He found the colours there so different to England. In New Zealand Stephen exhibited at Fishers Fine Arts, Christchurch, and Christchurch Arts Centre and had numerous pieces rented out to commercial buildings in Auckland. Stephen donated artwork to local schools and children’s charities, hoping to attract young imaginations into art.
New Zealand was never the same to Stephen since the earthquakes and so in 2015 he and his wife decided to return home to the Cotswolds, in England.
Some of Stephen’s past successes were having an oil painting exhibited at the Mall Galleries, London (following success in an art competition), a large display at Hatfield House, and art shows at Cheltenham Town Hall. A favourite place of his was Blenheim Palace where he painted and sold many artworks. His work also toured America with a mobile art gallery. Stephen had his own gallery at Princetown in Dartmoor. He undertook interior design work in some rather nice homes in the Cotswolds, calling his style ‘Living Rooms’. Recently he has had a few pages written about him in the book “Winchcombe Personalities, Volume Two”. And has been taking an active role helping with restoration at the local museum, one of his
achievements was to restore their ancient Harmonium to working order.
Another love has always been classic cars and motor-cycles, he’s restored quite a few. During the 80s Stephen built a kit car, which someone once tried to convince him was an early Morgan! Years later the car strangely ended up in New Zealand only a few miles from where he lived. His latest mechanical venture has been the
customisation of a Royal Enfield motor-cycle, which he’s very pleased with.
Currently he is concentrating on more metal sculptures and looking for a more suitable publisher, this time hopefully in England. He has said that he has at least another two books ready to come out of his stupid head!
Find out more about Stephen at www.stephanvonclink.com/