Stuart Disston is a highly accomplished architect, senior principal in the firm Austin, Patterson, Disston. His many projects often kept him away from pursuing his passion for making art.
With the onset of Covid, he created an art studio and started work on ideas about fragility, temporality and the ability to endure.
The monarch butterfly is inspiration for Disston. It travels thousands of miles on its life journey. When it finally arrives at its destination its wings are torn and tattered – a beautiful symbol of endurance and fragility. Such is life. Butterflies are featured in much of Disston’s work. In this series, he attempts to explore the notion of a delicate, worn and disheveled beauty that is subtly embedded in nature. Upon closer inspection its quiet, resilient power is revealed.
Many of the surfaces in Stuart Disston’s work are incised, ripped, torn or otherwise distressed. In others, he cuts with surgical precision. Heat releases the flow of pigment from underneath the gray-tone “skin” of the top layer in each work, exposing saturated color from one of the many layers beneath.