THE Gynocratic Art Gallery

value the brain & cut the priviledge

April 2018 – Elaine Stewart ‘Exposed’

Exposed

Works by visual artist, Elaine Stewart
Text by Taeyon Kim, Ph.D

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Lean in and embrace me

I’m soft and bright

With a prize inside.

No no don’t pull too hard

Wait STOP

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I am stretched here to dry

Still here,

You let me go a long time ago

Because he told you it was time

But you didn’t ask why.

And now I feed the gulls, the crabs, the crawling creatures

When once I was the cradle of life.

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In ancient Egypt we worshipped the sun

Today I gather around me the moss and the lichen

Sweet beads and sweet seashells

I garnish around me

Strung round in delicate beads

Ocean blue and seaside green

They trail about me.

But where is the sun?

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Look into my face

You’ll see me in there

Look past the shreds of lace and tulle

Look through the glass that

Projects / Protects

I’m in there I promise

That’s me you see

small lights glowing

 

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Toe dipping in a roiling sea of waves

Standing upright like a lighthouse on guard

Disrobed and exposed

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Dripping with sarcasm

You pretend sweet flower and roses

But you hide a sharp tongue

That pierces my heart

So I bleed

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I remember long ago,

Pearls

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Perfume wafts wherever she goes

Shuffling away quickly and quietly

She looks ahead

Never behind

Never below

Hidden in the folds upon folds upon folds

A child left behind

Swinging to reach for the princess’ arm

But

She looks ahead

Never behind

Never below

Shuffling away quickly and quietly


 

Elaine Stewart

Elaine Stewart is a Toronto based visual artist.

In her studio practice, Stewart uses a variety of materials ranging from fabric, to wood, to paint. Stewart spent many of her early creative years focusing and honing her technical skills as a garment designer in Ontario. More recently, she went back to school to study visual arts; she has studied painting, photography and collage at Toronto School of Art and painting at the Ontario Collage of Art and Design University (OCADU). As Stewart’s creative practice evolves, her dedication to exploring and shifting the ability/disability paradigm remains ever constant.

In 2014 Elaine Stewart, too part in the residency Luminous Bodies at Artscape Gibraltar Point (AGP) in Ontario. The organization is a not-for-profit and offers space for creativity, contemplation and the potential transformation of communities. Artscape (AGP) opened in 1999 and is a four-season arts and cultural facility housed in a former school surrounded by 46 acres of parkland. As an artist working with fiber, assemblages and structures, Stewart travels metaphorically through familiar yet unknown landscapes daily.

About her work in the Luminous Bodies project at AGP, Elaine wrote; “I have been exploring the subject of the wheel chair and its relationship with the body for much of my art practice. At Luminous Bodies residency I will build an opening to a visual record (video) of the body in residence – in the wheelchair. The social construct that is imposed and given value and me, the labelled “disabled”. I am hoping to engage in two concurrent projects during this residency – I will arrive with multiple images printed on sheer fabric that I plan to turn into a transparent storyboard quilt illustrating death and rebirth. I am expecting to use the stitching process as a simple meditative process. I am also hoping to use this as another entry point to research the development of a city of thread representative of cultural shifts and changes in viewing disability. I have begun to assemble a base of knowledge for this project with the book Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino and artworks that developed in response to the book.”

Elaine Stewart has also participated in other prestigious Toronto events such as Nuit Blanche, where she created the piece Threading Tasks in 2015.

Screenshot 2018-04-03 09.04.11

Threading Tasks by Elaine Stewart
Image description: Large box interior containing a hanging wheelchair constructed of white lace and white christmas lights and a black gloved hand coming out of the floor gripping white threads that are attached to wheels.

Photo of Elaine Stewart with her piece ‘Threading Tasks’ at Toronto’s Nuit Blanche in 2015.

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