details from A Burden of Bones, 2009



curated by Trevor Pitt 

mac birmingham 

Sat 10 Dec 2011 – Sun 15 Apr 2012 


mac birmingham presents Four Tragic Tales, the first solo show by Coventry-based artist Stewart Easton.


Stewart Easton is a Coventry-based artist who is currently working in hand embroidery on digitally printed fabric to create large scale multi-narrative embroidered panels.


Since graduating from his MA at Coventry University Easton has been working with Birmingham-based artist and curator Trevor Pitt to realise the Four Tragic Tales exhibition.


All the works in the exhibition derive from a set of illustrated picture-book stories by Easton, written about a group of fictional characters who inhabit a creative community. Each of the tales is set in a mythical place where the main characters are blessed with youth, beauty and creativity, spending their days in the pursuit of music, theatre and the arts, until war descends upon them and brings a premature end to all.


It was during his MA Illustration and Animation at Coventry University that he made the first piece in the series, A Burden of Bones, where he began exploring conventional story based forms such as novels and films to produce multiple narratives within a single panel.


Using folk song and story as a starting point, Easton weaves multiple narratives that use the space of a single panel to explore time, movement and the transition of his characters within his tapestry based works.


Taking the form of four large scale hand embroideries on digital print and accompanying ink drawings, The exhibition embodies Easton’s interest in the folk traditions of pre-war Europe and the Frontier struggles of the first settlers of North America.


In his work Stewart Easton has developed a hybrid technique that fuses digital print with hand embroidery, has employed both modern and traditional methods of making and in doing so has bridged the perceived boundaries between Craft, Illustration and Fine Art practices.