Meat Not Taken

Exhibit dates: November 18, 2010 – January 8, 2011

By drawing inspiration from the notion that our world does not begin or end, but that it is always cycling, Stewart constructs his sculptures in the idea that life must be mobile.  The show at Redux featured new work from Stewart’s  project Meat Not Taken, the title of which is an adaptation of the Hymn to Hermes, and is considered a creation story of the imagination. In the story, Hermes, the consummate thief, makes the decision NOT to eat a portion of meat that he finds hanging in a barn. The fact that Hermes has a voracious appetite makes his act of restraint all the more unusual. His decision not to consume this meat is an act of consideration, a self-reflection that ensures something will be left-over. In a sense, his gesture creates a future. A future that will still have meat, and meat, of course, refers to us.

Stewart’s show featured selections from his mobile shelter series.  The artist’s work was created as a result of his curiosities about home mobility and how we would build to accommodate a portable lifestyle.  Stewart builds small mobile shelters equipped with portions of a library, a cooking station, vegetable gardens, fruit trees growing on rooftops, and even an outhouse. One particular project has the entirety of one’s possessions forming the outside walls of a shelter, causing an actual envelopment by all that is owned.

Stewart’s inspiration derived from his fascination with human geography and how we, as humans, position ourselves around the world.  He is interested in the freedom we have to be mobile not only in a physical sense but also in metaphorical thought.

As an exhibition that supports the use of our world’s resources to create natural beauty and Stewart’s involvement in human sustainability, Meat Not Taken was part of the bluesphere: Earth Art Expo, which was held from September 17- December 16, 2010.  Bluesphere was the product of collaboration between the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and many of Charleston’s art education organizations to bring sustainability education to the citizens of Charleston, SC.

About Greg Stewart

Greg Stewart, multimedia artist, lives and works in Virginia. Greg’s work stems from his interest in geography, more specifically, human geography; the study of how we situate, or arrange ourselves in the world.  His work investigates aspects of mobility: mobility as a physical operation, metaphorical gesture, and as a spark for things that drive our limitless imaginations. Greg’s work involves the invention of complex structures and absurd situations that offer imaginary solutions to migration and survival. Greg Stewart’s work has been exhibited nationally, including Point of Departure, Dean Project, NY (2007); Garth Clark Gallery, NY (2006); Synthetic Experiments, Hartsook Gallery, NY (2008); Trace Extender, Firehouse, VT (2006); Trace Connector, Mercer Gallery, NY (2006); Drought Sympathy, University of Georgia, Athens, GA (2008); Tools For An Upright Animal, Bridgewater College, VA (2009), Flexible Geography, VA and NY (2009), SPORE, Charlottesville, VA (2009), and most recently a one-person exhibition titled Beast or By-Product at Dean Project in NY.  This past summer, Greg’s project titled Homesteaders, was exhibited in Dubai and Kuwait City. Greg has participated in several collaborative projects, including Sans Terre, The Interventionists, Mass MOCA (2004); The Public Table (3 sites), New Haven, CT, Bellow’s Falls, VT,  and Cambridge, MA (2006), with artist collective SPURSE. Greg holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio. Greg is currently an Associate Professor of Sculpture at James Madison University.

Read more about the exhibition in this article by the Charleston City Paper!