Steve Light

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My Art mainly revolves around portraiture and figurative drawing. I’ve always loved drawing since an early age. I am drawn to creating people-centric art because I love the diversity of people, their stories, their problems, issues, baggage, quirks and the like. Paradoxically, I like my own company more so, I was a timid child and always enjoyed my own company, getting lost in drawing and video games.

I’m trying to communicate a helpful message underneath my art, whether it is about life, death or a beautiful city skyline, there’s an underlying message of ‘hope’ to take from it, no matter how bleak some subjects may appear on the surface.

Being patient
Following on from the painting, Bloodlines (2022) this is the second painting in The Dialysis Series. The patient is looking out from their bed in a dialysis ward, feet perched on the end of the bed as they are too tall for the standard size bed. The reference is a photo taken whilst in a dialysis session at Churchill Hospital, Oxford. A typical session lasts four hours. The title reflects being a patient of the hospital and being patient with having to undergo treatment. I decided to paint this as an expression of my time having dialysis, and that it’s not all that bad. The four hours spent there can be time for reflection, time to catch up on emails or to watch a film you’ve felt you’ve not had the time to watch otherwise. I like to call it forced reflection time, as I can’t move my left arm due to the needles in my fistula. I can’t go anywhere or walk around for the same reason, I am connected to the machine cleaning my blood. So I am forced to face boredom at times, and often reflect and unwind, or even just get some extra sleep.
I painted this portrait because I wanted to show a personal, vulnerable side to me and my Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) journey. It’s taken from a reference photo that I took on one of my first dialysis sessions in the hospital in 2021. It was an emotional time for many reasons, I felt scared, bewildered, exhausted and sad but also relieved to be getting the treatment as it would make me feel better over time. When I got home after the first few sessions, I burst into tears as soon as I saw my wife. It was not only exhausting on my body, I felt emotionally drained, especially with travelling 90 minutes each way to Oxford from Swindon and having the 4-hour dialysis sessions 3 times per week. I’m hoping it reveals a sensitive side as an artist, a vulnerable side. Being able to expose the tough times through my art will hopefully uplift others, or at least provoke some kind of emotional reaction that leads to positive action or reflection.
I felt inspired to paint this piece after buying two canvasses containing superheroes, heroines and villains from the Marvel and DC universes. Kidneyman is the superhero with 3 (soon to be 4) kidneys. You’d think this superpower would make his blood extra clean but unfortunately, all three kidneys have failed and only dialysis is keeping Kidneyman alive. The Supervillain, Nephropath, was responsible for insidiously destroying Kidneyman’s Kidneys.
The anaemic superhero
Very Low Iron Man is in trouble, his blood haemoglobin is critically low and is very anaemic. He doesn’t know this yet, all he knows is that he’s incredibly tired and gets out of breath very easily. Iron infusions were administered to him regularly but it didn’t help him feel any better. It wasn’t until he started having dialysis to remove the toxins from his blood, that he started to feel like himself again and join forces with Kidneyman to defeat the evil Nephropath!
Blue man
A piece exploring male insecurity and male vulnerability. Based on my body shape at the time of painting, I have historically had a dislike for my body and would over-eat for comfort. (If you look closely, you. can see my kidney transplant scar).

I am a figurative artist who reveals personal issues that affect many people through my art. Issues such as body image, anxiety, adoption trauma, kidney failure and crippling shyness. I enjoy using large canvases to make a large impact and also venturing into mural art. I have been told my style is unique and has something special about it. I certainly agree that it is my own unique style and I let my passion for drawing and painting come through naturally, rather than trying to apply a particular technique.

Being self-taught affords me that freedom, and I’m glad things have turned out the way they have. I dropped out of my A-level Art class because my tutor said I can’t draw on a large scale, I got upset with his remarks and left his class for good. My career then was focused on web design for many years, so I got to fulfil my hunger for creating and my love of technology until I picked up art again in 2019, after nearly 20 years, I haven’t looked back since. Living life over those 20 years has given me so much more to talk about through my art than if I started an art career straight after studying.

Republic of Korea
North Yorkshire
United States
San Francisco



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