Stewart MacFarlane is a figurative artist whose work is saturated with contrasting blocks of colour and exaggerated angles. His paintings are dramatic narratives - uncertain and unsettling. With his implied scenarios and visual clues, his works raise more questions than answers as he entices the audience to play detective and solve the mystery.
MacFarlane likes the idea of telling stories and has never really given a painting a 'story', he likes the viewer to do a lot of the work in deciding what is going on. Much of his work is made to have an uncertain narrative in it, leaving the painting open, rather than having an obvious image that sums up things for the viewer.
‘Odyssey is my first Australian exhibition in three years (since 2018). I have been on an Odyssey, in a sense, since that time. This exhibition is mostly painted in three American locations: Roswell, New Mexico; Savannah, Georgia and St George Island, Florida. A few works from Australia feature also, such as Odyssey and The Lost City’ - Stewart MacFarlane, 2021.
MacFarlane's work is widely collected and is represented, amongst others, in the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Queensland Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Western Australia, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and many regional institutions.