Brooke Henderson Stewart (b. 1994, Topsfield, MA) is an artist living and working in Boston, MA. She received her MFA from The School of The Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University (Boston, MA) in 2018. Stewart's most recent solo exhibition was hosted by The Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts. In 2023 Stewart was be featured in Peace Love and Understanding and exhibition at the Danang Museum of Fine Arts (Danang Vietnam). Recent group exhibitions have been presented by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA), Los Angeles Printmaking Society (Los Angeles, CA), LaMontagne Gallery (Boston, MA), Tokyo University of the Arts, Geidai (Tokyo, Japan), Edinburgh College of Art (Edinburgh, Scotland) and Artist Proof Press (Johannesburg, South Africa), among others. Her work has been written about in The Boston Globe, New American Paintings and Boston Art Review.
My recent work addresses the idea of embodying a person through a piece of art, pushing it past the visual standard of portraiture and into the materials that are sewn together to make up each piece. I create sheets of paper mixed with a material that is directly connected to the figure in the portrait, adding a direct personal connection to each work.
What does the artist have to do to represent a person, thinking about a person past the idea of a figure? A person can be represented by their smell, their pets, their art practice, and their breakfast rituals. I do not think of a portrait as a body. Through handmade paper, drawings, and woodblock prints I am navigating a route past the visual likeness of a person into a tactile sensory experience connecting person to place through portraiture.
I invite the viewer to interact with the works as they move and shift with sewing layered sewn paper. As I sift through internalizations and formative life experiences, my work is driven by connections to my community and the wonderful humans that populate it.