E. A. Stuart is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores the language of materials through experimentation and research. Stuart immigrated from Canada to the United States of America in 1992 with her family. After completing her Associates in the Arts for Secondary Education from Hillsborough Community College in Tampa Fl, she took a 23-year break to join the working masses in corporate America. In 2018 Stuart returned to school to pursue her passion for art. Stuart received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Spring 2020 and is currently working on her MFA at Northern Illinois University. She is the recipient of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Honors Scholarship consecutively from 2017 to 2020. She recently participated in the Sleight of Hand First Year Grad Exhibition at 215 Gallery (4th street) in Dekalb IL.
The current course of my art practice is to examine how spaces, real or virtual affect how the individual perceives themselves and present that image to the world about them. Furthermore, as time passes, and spaces change how that public persona is altered in order to adapt to those changes. I choose to create my sculptures in cement. It is a man-made material used for building structures that dictate how society should behave. Buildings for businesses, schools, and even prisons are constructed in concrete and the individuals within act according to their roles within those structures. Concrete as a material has the illusion of being fixed, however over the passing of time and of needs, concrete buildings can be broken down and rebuilt in new forms for new purposes. Each of these structures has it’s own personality that is reflected in the people who dwell within them. I pull those personalities out of the concrete and create portraits of the soul that dwells within the object. Creating multiple painted portraits from the sculptures from different angles exposes the different personalities of the sculpture based on the time, perspective, and projected expectations from myself as the observer. This repetition of process of evaluation and documentation creates a narrative of moments of the sculptures.
Experimentation and excavation are important to my process. The concrete is cast with minimal planning, allowing me the freedom to explore the results of different surfaces, cracks, positive and negative space created. It is like having a conversation with a new acquaintance, the object casted becomes a character and I have the opportunity to learn who they are. In turn I take my impressions of project my impression of how they would like to be represented in portraiture. The portraits are created in a single sitting to create the specific moment in which the sculpture is being viewed at a specific time and place. I paint the portraits on thin transparent vellum with oils. These mediums are chosen for their transparent quality and speak of the temporality of the moment of a persona captured.