a walk in the park

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Steve is the custodian of this painting. He says:

“I think what you are doing here is quite wonderful. The paintings are, indeed, very beautiful. You don’t say anything about Stewart’s relationships in the brief biography – his paintings (or certainly the ones in your collection) seem to betray a certain solitude – the lighthouses, the solitary figures – though I wouldn’t want to read too much into that. I hope the ‘walk in the park’ offers some insight into this aspect of his life.

I am a gay man who lives in the north of England and have struggled for much of my life against solitude. It is tiring but essential (to struggle against it – not always successfully) and has resulted in my maintaining contact/friendship with previous boyfriends even if the relationship has failed. If you loved someone once how can you suddenly hate them? I have to say my friends do find it difficult to get their head around this sometimes.

Although not much of an activist (with a capital A) I have always been active in small ways (running LGB society at uni, LGBT group at work etc). It is refreshing to hear the word queer being used in a positive way again.

I would like to request the ‘walk in the park’ painting. It would be my intention for this to remain in the North (either in Yorkshire where I currently live or in Manchester where I was born) and for it to be passed on to someone who shares my values and would enjoy engaging with the painting or to a regional LGBT gallery or archive should one ever be established.”

Steve added later: “Since receiving the painting, I decided to leave my job and have been busy trying to figure out what I am going to do with my life. One of the things I have failed to do is find a suitable frame for the painting. Last summer for safety reason I had to chop down some large trees at the back of my garden – and this has resulted in quite a healthy pile of timber. As the painting I received from Charlotte was of a woodland walk – I have decided to try to make a frame for the painting from this. The wood pile is currently drying out – and as the trees were conifers this may take a little time. In the meantime, the painting is propped up on the desk where I sit every day. When I make the frame, I’ll post another picture for you to see.”



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