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Caito Stewart

Caito Stewart

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Artist statement

I create installations and sculptural memorials inspired by my past. Using a variety of media, I cast domestic items in transparent resin and plaster, or hand build them out of paper, ceramic clay, and carefully arranged piles of charcoal dust. Everything is frozen in an uncanny state of half-decay or disappearance, echoing my attempts to regain control of my own narrative amidst change and loss. My art practice is informed by both my personal history and research on grief. I have observed that people can have wildly different experiences when grieving the same loss, and differing coping mechanisms that often conflict. I have learned to respect others’ perspectives and reexamine my own behavior. After analyzing my findings through writing and discussion, I integrate them into my personal story through creative physical labor. This process transforms stories of confusion, anger, and hurt to those of understanding, empathy, and acceptance. By sharing my own story through my art, I seek to encourage and normalize open conversations around grief and loss. Recently, I have expanded my art practice to include more collaborative projects that teach me to push through feelings of discomfort as I relinquish control and learn to trust others–a recipe for resilience. My current project "Ghost Tike: A Collective Memorial" is an ongoing art installation meant to directly engage the grief community by creating opportunities for open dialog, connection, and creative collaboration.