Franschhoek Wine Valley

“Silence” Solo exhibition by Duncan Stewart at Art in the Yard


Solo exhibition by Duncan Stewart

Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom. – Francis Bacon

The exhibition runs from 18 November to 11 December 2017
The Opening is at 11am on Saturday 18 November 2017

For more information: 021 876 4280



Who said what about silence.

Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation. – Jean Arp

The impulse to create begins — often terribly and fearfully — in a tunnel of silence. – Adrienne Rich

The tree of silence bears the fruit of peace. – Arabian Proverb

All of our great traditions, religious, contemplative and artistic, say that you must a learn how to be alone – and have a relationship with silence. It is difficult, but it can start with just the tiniest quiet moment. – David Whyte

God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer. – Mother Teresa

Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom. – Francis Bacon

There is a time to be silent and a time to speak, – Ecclesiastes 3:7


Artist statement:

We live in a noisy world where it is challenging to hear above the din, and almost impossible to step off the treadmill long enough to discern what path to take.
This exhibition, simply called SILENCE, has become the embodiment of that struggle for me.
Silence is free of talking or the need to think about words and thoughts.
Silence is about being. And about being still.
Silence is the cathedral in our souls, which, if incessantly occupied leaves no room to hear the divine whispers.
As I set about creating work for this show, it was this desperate need to create from a place of stillness and silent listening that led me to explore a range of paintings that at first glance appear monochromatic. I wanted to create visual spaces that were calm, quite and removed from noisy colors and energetic angles.
By exploring subtle shifts of hues and tones I have intentionally ‘bleached’ the noise out, giving the viewer permission to dwell in silence – to search for detail on what at first glance appears to be a subdued canvas… yet ultimately is alive with colour waiting to reward those who push through the veil into the quite resonance of the work.


Duncan Stewart 18 September 2017

Works to be expected.
– The overall effect I would like to achieve in the Gallery space is one of complete stillness and whiteness.
– My hope is that as people enter the gallery itself they are struck by a sense of peace and quietness.
– I plan to have a range of charcoal drawings and oil paintings, in total around 30 pieces.
– At this stage I also plan to have some normal (not monochromatic) works with a thin veil of gauze/chiffon suspended slightly in front of the work so that to be viewed the ‘sheer curtains’ need to be drawn aside. Requiring an effort to trying to see deeper, more clearly.
– At this stage I am planning for the paintings to be framed with simple white edging as before, paper works to be simply suspended from bull clips…reinforcing the hanging curtains of gauze.

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