See or Be Seen: Kait Steward
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Academic Level at Time of Creation
Date of Creation
Vulnerability and uneasiness are the undercurrents of my work. Focusing in on the concepts of privacy, safety, and spatial awareness, I explore domestic settings with and without the figure.
My pieces question what it is to be alone, or if alone-ness is possible in the world I live in. As someone who deals with a great deal of anxiety but is also introverted, I find great comfort in solitude. However, the places I find solitude in force me into a position of loneliness, often causing my own detriment, and sending me into a spiral of questions of privacy and personal space. Depicting myself and other figures in familiar domestic environments, the viewer becomes the invader of the space and the source of tension. By painting these figures I reclaim my fear and become the source of power in the relationship of the watcher vs. the watched. The concept of gender issues also plays a role in my thought process as I consider my personal interactions with safety and the world around me as a young woman.
With paintings, I use color as a tool to draw the viewer in with bold saturated tones and contrast, but as the viewer engages within the piece a sense of overall discomfort is found. The content is not automatically off-putting, but rather sneaks up on the audience. My drawings explore the ideas of entries and exits through studies of high contrast lighting. Details become more abstract as the drawings are very much simplified. - Kaitlyn Steward
Danielle Muzina, Todd Herzberg, Jeanne Beaver, T. Mike Martin,
"See Or Be Seen"
Exhibition Objective, Summary, and Vision Statement:
The overall theme for my show will be personal paranoia, more specifically a view into women’s safety and awareness of their surroundings in both a personal and social sense. I aim to encourage the audience to question their role within the relationship of the watcher and the watched, their responsibilities as bystanders, and raise concern for their own personal actions toward safety. My paintings are alluring with bright color and tiny details, but the act of viewing becomes a forced sense of voyeurism towards the subject within. My drawings are my personal explorations of control and vulnerable situations I put myself in on a regular basis –leaving doors open, closing windows, walking back to a dark home, etc. As viewers exit my exhibition, I hope they will consider their actions toward themselves and others in regards to safety within recognizable areas or home spaces.
All images: Photo credit, Kaitlyn Steward, 2019
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Steward, Kaitlyn, "See or Be Seen: Kait Steward" (2019). B.F.A. Practicum Exhibition (ART 498). 47.