'44', 2015, glazed ceramics, dimensions variable
Born Cambridge (GB), 1986
The element of potentiality in both objects and narratives dominates Fraser Stewart’s thinking and approach. Through experiments in combining performance, printmaking and sculpture, materials and narratives have merged into new forms. Stewart is drawn to the concept of planned obsolescence, where products are designed to breakdown and fail, which he also links to the meaning and cultural references that may shift, transform or disappear altogether.
The axe for example has been around for millennia and hasn’t changed much over time. It is used to harvest timber, to swing at opponents in battlefields, and as a ceremonial, religious or heraldic symbol. Nowadays domesticated versions with protective plastic caps can be found at any hardware store. By replicating axes in ceramics and mutating their appearance Stewart strips them of their original function. Their practical and potentially menacing power is re-directed to a symbolic level.