Anna Chrystal Stephens uses sculpture, action and photography to explore sustainable living strategies, self-sufficiency and the transition between nomadic and settled modes of survival. She investigates ancient practices like harvesting wild plants for food or medicine, learning about the edibility, uses and requirements of plants in order to viscerally understand rural and urban habitats. She is interested in small scale and integrated approaches to growing food as alternatives to industrialised horticulture.
Referring to camping as an activity representative of desperate survival as well leisure and outdoor learning experiences she investigates how outdoor skills and prehistoric crafts can enhance human ecological understanding, dissolving the frontier between domesticity and wildness.
She uses natural materials, recycled materials, defunct camping paraphernalia and survival gear to make sculptures and objects with real or imagined purposes, making links between ancient techniques and contemporary tools. Their aesthetics are a celebration of attempts to connect with wilderness and a reaction to anxiety about climate breakdown.
Her practice includes the gathering and dispersal of survival skills and craft processes through walks, discussions and workshops. She is also part of artist group Vulpes Vulpes.