"Both are naked, None is safe...," was an installation of new multi-media prints by Bridget Stewart at JNG in Kansas City in 1999.
Stepping far beyond then current topical trends of art, Ms. Stewart's subject matter tackled a most universal and underlying theme, that of evil and cruelty.
As we found ourselves at the close of the millennium we also found ourselves at the close of what must be the bloodiest century ever (so far). A century that began with the hope that science and technology would deliver us from injustice and war closed with more hatred, and killing made more efficient because of science and technology. Ms. Stewart was horrified as she watched "the world destroy itself through illusions of strength and power." She addressed these horrors in a new body of work.
The centerpiece of the show was the large and emotional 60 Days in Rwanda, a 12' x 15' piece consisting of 60 monotypes chronicling the despair and terror of refugees fleeing genocide. A series of diptychs entitled Refugee Dreams related Ms. Stewart's imagining the daydreams of victims of terror. "Our daydreams usually take us to comforting places and images while our night dreams process the incidents of the day. I wanted to capture the unreal layering of images of both daydreams and nightmares." Her ongoing series, Remnants, pointed out that all we really know about the history of human endeavor comes from tiny leftover fragments of original information.
Using multiple materials and printmaking techniques Ms. Stewart created dense, multi-layered images. She was also influenced by Jazz, Middle Eastern textiles, Celtic crafts, African music and the poetry of Marianne Moore, all of which work through complex overlapping of themes and experimentation. Ms. Stewart's work presented the viewer with fascinating images that compel with their beauty while horrifying with their message.
Bridget Steward, Both are naked, none is safe..., installation view