Shelter from the Storm: Allison Stewart’s Incantations in Paint
The paintings reside in the space between landscape and abstraction. The materials are mixed and layered, often with unexpected and surprising results. Forms appear and dissolve under layers of charcoal, pigments and glazes until they coalesce into an image that might be both familiar and unknowable.
Allison Stewart didn’t always plan on being an artist—before pursuing a graduate degree in painting, she studied biology. “I’m one of those people who loved dissecting plants and animals, and making my own slides,” she says. “It was a creative thing, and most of all I loved the visual part.” Fittingly, Stewart’s artistic practice—that includes painting, printmaking, and mixed media—fuses the natural and biological with the abstract and symbolic, training her eye on fragile environments and the interconnectedness of all living things. Though beautiful in their layers of light, color, form and texture, Stewart’s works grapple with the troubled relationship between man and nature. “The bigger picture for me is beauty and loss,” she says. “For me, it’s about the visual, what you see. And the visceral. If I don’t feel it that way, the art hasn’t spoken.”
American , based in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States