the tree is broken


Al has claimed this painting. He says:

“My choice would be ‘the tree is broken’. I love the shading, how the tree blends with the mountain, how it’s both phallic yet open in the trunk. I like the figure in the distance and the ambiguity of why they’re there Are they a farmer, walking a dog, going home, just having a stroll or cruising!? I also love the rough grass and the twigs of the tree, how they criss-cross ‎over the canvas. It makes me feel good. ‎Thanks for introducing me to Stewart’s work, it’s a special treat!”

Eirwen also took a shine to this painting. He said:

“I really like ‘the tree is broken’. It caught my eye when I first looked at the website, and I keep coming back to it. I like the style. It’s interestingly and pleasingly similar – and interestingly, pleasingly and inspiringly different – to the way I see and paint things. This leaves me thinking it would’ve been nice to have the opportunity to meet Stewart, and think and talk about how he sees and paints things. I like trees, including having a fascination with fallen ones… but it’s appeal is more than that. The context he gives it lends a lot to the mood/presence/not too sure I’ve quite the right words for the feelings, it suggests. And the crack in it reminds me of a tree I used to enjoy to play in. Which combined with what I’ve read on the website makes for interesting thinking about  age and generations… myself as a child then and adult now… Stewart as an older-than-us man, and whether I’ll get to live that long myself… and how my potential experience as an older queer is something I can hardly guess at despite my own intergenerational queer connections. I like the sense of community that living with this painting would bring… being part of a much larger queer community, having a responsibility to that community, and taking part in perpetuating that community and history.”

Here’s a photo of me (Charlotte, on the right) handing over the painting to Al on 27 August 2013. We’re at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, where one of my films is being screened. The RVT has been a queer venue for some time and its drag shows were popular during the post-war period. I wonder if Stewart knew of this place or ever visited it. Thanks to Tom for taking the pic.

Al accepting his painting at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern

Here it is on Al’s wall at home.

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