Stewart Russell (He/Him)
Questioning the relationship between artist and alchemist is at the core of my practice. The transformation that I pursue awakens me to my own sense of self and the many different forms that reside within. The work created through this exploration conveys my willingness to communicate with the viewer and the sharing of my inner findings unites the unseen with the material.
Exploring the concepts of flesh and consciousness through materiality, I display shades of myself which I’m still not fully familiar with and conjure feelings of vulnerability and exposure. This exploration allows me to give in to the tension of the non-physical through the body that holds it.
This tension is presented to the viewer in a distorted – and often abstract and symbolic – way, enabling an external audience to obtain a glimpse at my consciousness; a moment past, something that was experienced internally and expressed through physical means to bring to life. The contorted bodily forms that are birthed from this process are my archetypes, the characters of my own myth and a glimpse at the unseen. It is through the alchemical nature of my practice that I explore these archetypes within the processes and materiality of cyanotype printing, photography, and fabric work. The transformation of the materials through the chemical application of cyanotype is heightened and subdued through further chemical interactions and gives way to the unpredictable nature of the process. This is the mind, and the fabric or paper is the body, both tangled within one another become aspects of the magnum opus.