past work / past shows 

These are paintings of people who spend their everyday lives growing food, in community gardens and small market gardens. This series had a focus on Plein-air painting. The process was to take the canvas into the garden, set up and paint on site. Surrounded by plants and people, working them into edible things. There is a documentary element here a desire to capture an essence of daily life. Also a desire to honour the hard work and amazing achievements I have observed in these people and gardens.


Workers in Dirt

Silo, Park / Wynard Park

Auckland, New Zealand

Tawhai Tamepo, a Maori Pioneer Battalion veteran of Waipiro Bay, in a series of war diaries, has recorded beautifully and clearly the moments worth remembering. 

His words so measured and polite describe both the horrors of war and the adventures they got to have around the edges of it. The diary moves along from scene to scene like a movie. In this way it seems a very visual record and transposes into images very readily.

I have endeavored with these paintings to depict the images Tamepo documents and present them as memories.

So that the viewer will feel the nostalgia and the dream like quality as they travel through his recordings. The image is there but seen through the fog of time. After all, these events have been re-written by Tamepo himself then remodeled again in paint by me to be presented as shiny little gems of memory, shaking in the wind but still here.

–For the Empire

Tairawhiti Museum

Gisborne, New Zealand

This series of works saw a transition from abstraction to figurative in the practice. The series was loosely based on the swirling composition of a Turner, wild seascape. Where the eye is lead around the painting picking up meaning on the way. The content depicts four different feelings around one relationship set in time. There is a raw truth to these works that still resonates.

All the Little Monsters

Fitzroy Gallery



Embedded within both the process and the finished

works is the notion of the everyday. These paintings

are painted in the garage

and constructed from things left over from everyday

life or within reach of

the subject matter, i.e. available to someone experiencing the early stages of motherhood. The effect is that the paintings begin to operate asan extension to daily life rather then being separate from it. To imply meaning within these basic assemblages is to apply meaning to daily life.


– Thesis extract for the degree of Masters of Design


The Nuances of Human Stories
and the Language of Paint

Te Po Gallery 

Auckland, New Zealand

"Stewart responded to living in Melbourne's dense urban environment in the heat and the drought at the end of the Howard years by embarking on a series of paintings that captured the intensity of life in the city. These paintings converge on multiple stories: all-moving and butting up against one another, expressing the chaos created by co-habitation and communities. Each painting inhabits its own world and perceptions; literal and abstracted narratives swirl within each work, speaking of the internal and external worlds we inhabit."


– Threaded Magazine

Love of it – Issue 2008

Eight New Paintings

Synergy Gallery



Orakei Marae Maara (SOLD)

Oil on canvas, 2014. Plenty of fun! Orakei Marae Maara runs as a teaching garden which also provides for the Marae kitchen. The garden is managed by Richelle and on-hand garden tutor Judy. They meet every Tuesday and work hard for four hours to keep the garden looking good and producing. The garden is a welcoming space.