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Losing Sight by Jacinta Stewart

Losing Sight

Jacinta Stewart

A portrait of
Anna Stewart
Medium
Acrylic on linen

Dimensions

101 x 101 cm

Representation
The artist represents themselves
Category
Sylvia Jones Prize for Women Artists
About the artwork

My mother has lost central vision and can no longer see people’s faces. Her vulnerability is palpable as she measures her decline by covering each eye with her hand while focusing on a point. Here, she peers at her “faceless” viewer desperate to pull blurred forms into focus.

About the sitter

This piece depicts the artists mother, Anna Stewart. In recent years Anna was diagnosed with Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration. This has greatly impacted on her independence and emotional well being. A fall during stage 3 Covid-19 restrictions led to her sudden transition into a permanent aged care facility, a challenge that she has faced with courage.

About the artist

Jacinta Stewart is a Brisbane artist. She moved back to her hometown last year after residing in New York City for 16 years to care for her mother who is losing her sight. Stewart paints in series, viewing this as an opportunity to explore subjects of interest.

“Lockdown introduced another dimension. Now, we could no longer “see” each other. Painting her became a way of being with her.”

Behind the scenes

As an artist, nothing is more frightening than the thought of losing my sight. This is what is happening to my mother. A fall in April meant my mother was destined to a sudden transition into permanent aged care with the backdrop of a global pandemic.

With this challenge came the lockdown of her facility in Kenmore, Brisbane. I was suddenly cut off from visiting her. I painted this piece during lockdown. 

My initial intent for this piece was to convey my mother’s struggle to see people’s faces and the sense of isolation inherent in that. Lockdown introduced another dimension. Now, we could no longer “see” each other. Painting her became a way of being with her.