My studio practice involves painting figurative motifs set within painted worlds. Genre painting has always interested me and in particular bathers as a subject. I graduated from Canterbury University with an MFA in 2016 and most of my work at University, was around the subject of bathers and crowds.
Eric Fischl and David Hockney are artists whose work I have always looked at, for their depictions of psychological observations of human behavior, using painterly abstractions. Both painters use water environments as the place for the dramas taking place. Jaqueline Fahey impresses me as a New Zealand artist who also, makes no excuses for her honest translations of raw family life, while set within the home. I guess in my work, I am exploring the iconizing of the life we now lead, celebrating it like a family tree, a time capsule, of which I am a part of and translating it into images. A current reality, the painting of which, is literally a vital part of my own identity, rendering my tribe, my mountain, my river, my place. Perhaps in the absence of a wider family group while growing up as a child, I am now trying to build a more solid sense of family and place, by strengthening my own family ties and by using my painting as a crucial part of my exploration and documentation. I very often paint my family and friends as muses, and paint the activity of bathing, and have done for over 40 years.
I seek in my work to use either a known place, or a sculpture or monument to infuse a sense of the familiar and set it within a painted world. By using these familiar elements along with repetition, exaggerated abstraction and a gestural, joyous application of colour, the work becomes expressionist and is able to push the edges of reality, to find a space for the figures to inhabit. Very often I use a water environment in my painting, due to my love of the ocean and my interest in the constant mystery surrounding the immateriality of water. It is transcendent and has the ability in an image, to transport us to the edges of reality and immerse us in a new reality.
Stephanie McEwin – Curriculum Vitae
My name is Stephanie McEwin and In 2016 I completed a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts at Canterbury University. My studio practice is now my full time work and allows me to produce a consistent body of work every year investigating cultural and figurative elements.
Achievements and Exhibitions
Finalist Adam Portraiture Awards (2007)
Bachelor of Fine Arts, UC (2013)
Select Exhibition at SOFA Gallery (2013)
Finalist in the Parkin Drawing Prize (2013) and (2017)
Friends of the Christchurch Art Gallery Scholarship (2013)
Christchurch Art Show winner (2014)
BFA Hons, UC (2014)
University of Canterbury Alumni Scholarship (2015)
Bickerton Widdowson Scholarship (2015)
Bathers, Group Show at Selwyn Gallery (2015)
Figg-ur-ay-shun, Group Exhibition at Chambers Gallery (2015)
Ethel Susan Rose Travelling Scholarship (2016)
The Madding Crowd, Solo Show at Chambers Gallery (2016)
Masters Fine Arts Degree (2016)
Kriti Gallery Residency, Varanasi, India. (2016)
Talking Heads Show, Next gallery (2017)
Entering The Anthropocene, Group Show Pumanawa Gallery (2017)
Finalist Parkin Prize Awards, 2018
21st Aug 2018 - 8th Sep 2018: Merrily go around – David Woodings & Splash – Stephanie McEwin