Sunday Dinners is a homemade paper installation piece that relates the human form to the delicacy of the medium of paper-making. The piece consists of four bodies of paper, suspended in the air at various heights. The piece is a reflection on how the process of paper-making juxtaposes the way the human body and mind react when under the stress of mental health and illnesses. After the passing of my grandma last year from dementia, I wanted to reflect on how the human body becomes delicate and fragile near the end of life, in relation to the idea of erosion through mental illness. The one constant throughout my childhood was the Sunday night dinners we would have at my grandparent’s house, and it’s the one thing my family hoped to bring back to keep stability in that tradition. The material represents the brittleness, and temporal qualities of the mind while also reflecting strength and durability when it comes to being under stress. When activated in water, the paper dissolves back into pulp and disappears, something so durable can break apart in an instant from something so simple.
Chelsea Stewart was born in 1997 in San Mateo County, CA. She lives in San Mateo and works in Palo Alto, CA. Stewart received her BFA from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 2020, and received Art Museum and Gallery Studies Certificate from California State University, East Bay. Stewart currently works in her studio space at the Cubberley Artist Studio Program in Palo Alto, CA and concurrently works as the Gallery Manager at the Pamela Walsh Gallery in downtown Palo Alto, CA. Through exploration of mass and scale, geological subjects, and mental health, Stewart constructs large-scale abstract paintings and paper installations. The relationships between feeling grounded, the action of erosion, and the human body and mind form the fundamentals of her work. Using erosion of geological forms as a catalyst, the passing of her grandmother from dementia, and her own experience with anxiety, Stewart admires the meditative process of the act of making to communicate personal narratives of mental health to mirror its brittleness and its underlying strength. Her most recent work was featured in the London Biennale curated by the Gagliardi Gallery in London, UK and she has been featured artist in Content Mag issue 12.4.