Mr Stephen Smith

Mr Stephen Smith

Lecturer in Illustration

School of Art and Media (Faculty of Arts & Humanities)


Lecturer Ba Illustration


Stephen Smith is an illustrator and artist who has been working under the studio name of Neasden Control Centre since 2000.

Neasden Control Centre has published monographic books with Gestalten, Mu and Rojo as well as contributing to a diverse range of group publications most recently The Age of Collage Art, Contemporary Collage in Modern Art, Gestalten.

Neasden Control Centre’s illustrations and installations have been commissioned for a diverse range of clients and products across different sectors from apparel to interiors, installations, publishing and motion work. These have included; Action Aid, Puma International, Pearson, Philippe Starck, Volkswagen.

Stephen has exhibited his site specific installations internationally including at More with Less MU, Netherlands, Now Jump! at Nam June Paik Centre, South Korea and Spank the Monkey Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, UK where he was one of 3 UK artists selected alongside Banksy and David Shrigley.

In 2011 Stephen was invited by Liam Young as artist in resident with the Unknown Fields Division (Architectural Association, London) on a field trip to Chernobyl, the Aral Sea and Baikonur Cosmodrome (Russian Space Centre).

He continues to lecture, lead workshops and present his work at Universities, Institutions and conferences including the Semi-Permanent Conference in Los Angeles and Portland and Pictoplasma in Berlin. In 2014 he was invited to lead and run a workshop to BFA Graphic, Fine Art and Illustration students at Calarts / California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles and at the Manchester Metropolitan University in co-ordination with the V&A and Peoples History Museum.

1998 MA Sequential Design and Illustration, University of Brighton
1994-7 BA (hons) Illustration, University of the West of England
1993-4 Diploma Foundation Art & Design, Lancaster College of Art

Professional membership

Association of Illustrators

Research interests

Selected Exhibitions

2017 Code Art Fair (with Mini Galerie), Copenhagen, Denmark

2017 Current Mood (with Jeroen Erosie), Galerie Celal M13, Paris, France

2016 Hestercombe Gallery, Taunton, UK

2016 Unstable Monuments, Truro, (Group show curated by Matthew Benington, Jesse Leroy Smith and Sam Bassett)

2015 Papierkowa Robota (2 man show with Jeroen Erosie), V9 Gallery, Warsaw

2015 II, Minigalerie, Amsterdam, Netherlands

2015 Highrise and Fall, Centrespace Gallery, Bristol

2014 Inland Art: Assemble Now, Back Lane West, Redruth (co-selected by Tate St Ives)

2013 Three Man Show, Protein Gallery, London

Magnus Magnum, Studio Belleflamme, Grivegnée, Belgium

2012 Working Drawings, London Gallery West, London

2011 Smokefall, Tintype Gallery, London

Get The Papers, Galleries Goldstein, London

2010 Working Drawings, Furnival Gallery, Sheffield

Autumn Show, Guerrero Gallery, Co-Curated by Eddie Martinez, San Francisco

2009 Das Herz Von St Pauli, Iguapop Gallery, Barcelona

2008 Now Jump!, Nam June Paik Centre, South Korea

Artrek, Galerie Mekanik, Antwerp

5 Year Show, Helium Cowboy Gallery , Hamburg

Scope Art Fair, Basel, Switzerland (w/ Helium Cowboy)

No New Enemies, Nuits des Botaniques, La Botanique, Brussels

2007 Scope Art Fair, New York, Miami, Basel (w/ Helium Cowboy Gallery)

2006 Spank The Monkey, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Ding Dong Festival, Hamburg

2004 Place Project, Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona

2003 Crossed New Territories of Avant Garde, Centre de Cultura Contemporània, Barcelona

Solo Exhibitions

2016 Radical Utopias, Mini Galerie, Amsterdam

2010 More With Less, Mu, Eindhoven, Netherlands

2008 Take Away, Calm and Punk Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

2007 Little Land, Helium Cowboy Gallery, Hamburg, Germany

Capital Stupid, Permanent Gallery, Brighton

2006 Bar Leandro, Helium Cowboy Gallery, Hamburg, Germany

Grants & contracts

British Council Visual Arts Award
Arts Council of England Visual Arts Award

Let’s Go Out Again, Interiors for Restaurants, Bars and Unusual Food Places, Gestalten, 2014

The Age of Collage, Contemporary Collage in Modern Art, Gestalten, 2013

More With Less, Stephen Smith / Neasden Control Centre, Mu, 2010 

Now Jump!, Nam June Paik Art Center, 2009 

Lost Control, Stephen Smith / Neasden Control Centre, Gestalten, 2007

Basics Illustration: Sequential Images, Mark Wigan, AVA Publishing, 2007

Basics Illustration 04, Mark Wigan, AVA Publishing, 2007

Spank The Monkey, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gestalten, 2006

Smithfield Building, Neasden Control Centre, Rojo Editions, 2006

300% Cotton: More T-Shirt Graphics, Helen Walters, Laurence King, 2006

Colour Me, Pictoplasma, Lars Denicke, Pictoplasma, 2005

The Fundamentals of Illustration, Lawrence Zeegen, AVA Publishing, 2005

Stephen Smith, Marcus Diamond, Neasden Control Centre, Gestalten, 2003

Picture Perfect: Fusions of Illustration and Design, Ian Noble, Rotovision, 2003

Crossed, New Avant-Garde Design Territories, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, 2003

Übersee 1, R. Klanten, M. Mischler, H. Hellige, S. Ehmann, Gestalten, 2002

Reports & invited lectures

California Institute of the Arts, Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, USA, 2014
Semi Permanent Conference, Los Angeles / Portland, USA, 2013
Working Drawings, University of Sheffield, 2010
Pictoplasma, Berlin, Germany, 2004

Other academic activities

Stephen Smith (b. 1975, UK) makes work that draws on conspiracy theories, bit-rot, psycho-geography and post-traumatic landscapes. Stephen works predominately with painting, drawing, print and installation. He uses a process of formal abstraction to deconstruct and reconstruct the form and language of the work. Through this themes, forms and motifs are built up and re-worked over time, with each iteration new works are formed in which the dialogue is in a state of flux.

Recent work has largely focussed on large scale machine sewn paintings based on a residency trip he took with Unknown Fields Division (Architectural Association, London) to the exclusion zone of Chernobyl and the lost city of tomorrow Pripyat. He has exhibited his work internationally including: Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Nam June Paik Centre (South Korea) and Mu (Netherlands).

Stephen Smith also works under the studio name of Neasden Control Centre. Instagram: #neasdencontrolcentre