The Big Picture

Amy Stewart grew up not wanting to step on others’ toes. She wonders if this diffidence is an experience many women share: modifying their behaviour to accommodate other people’s expectations, trying hard not to ruffle feathers, not to take up too much space.

Stewart’s series The Big Picture celebrates her refusal to stay small. As she entered her forties, she adopted the position that she had long recognized as necessary, and she rejected the insecurities that had made it sometimes difficult to speak up for herself. She got comfortable with her own voice, and stopped worrying about the response. “There’s a certain joy with this part of aging,” Stewart says. “This is the most ‘me’ I’ve ever been, and I love the freedom that comes with settling into myself unapologetically.” 

The pieces in this series reflect a long-held dream to go big. Across large canvases, Stewart’s signature strokes are bolder and more precise. Her colours emerge out of stark contrasts or as gentle gradations across a singular mood. Like the artist herself, they are confident and inquisitive, unafraid of taking chances, of speaking up, of playing with space as a celebration of the possibilities that surface through the risks of self-articulation.