William Stewart

Venice

Greenland

Ice Structures

Ancient Dialogues

Ancient Greek art has been a reference point and creative influence for art throughout the centuries . By creatively  juxtaposing images of ancient statues with corresponding contemporary nudes William Stewart  sets up a visual dialogue across millennia – a dialogue that develops its own intriguing dynamics. Ancient Dialogues operates on a number of intersecting levels. In a first instance,  it reminds us of the sensuality and eroticism – albeit  usually attributed to goddesses  – that was part and parcel of the ancient sculptors’ work and  which would have been naturally well understood and appreciated in its context of the time. Under the weight of the following centuries dominated by Christian culture  – and subsequently  in the 18th and 19th centuries dominated by earnest  and more scholarly veneration of the human body – natural adoration of the human bodies  was  coerced  into a straight jacket of serious ‘classical art’. Yet, by the same token, the photos of the nude models artfully and self-consciously pay tribute to the timeless influence of their ancient sisters in stone. The pairings of ancient statues with contemporary nudes  in Williams’  work are a vibrant testimony to the ongoing relevance of ancient aesthetic principles in today’s world.
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