Beverley Jane Stewart
Art Market|Issue #50 August 2020
Beverley Jane Stewart
ART | LOVE | JEWISH HERITAGE

I am a Diaspora Jew. I have always aimed to achieve a meaningful balance between my secular life and my religion. Being Jewish has always mattered to me, for it gave me a sense of belonging and purpose. The weekly attendance at my local synagogue through prayer, festivals, and customs helped me to identify with Judaism.

My initial interest was focused on the synagogue architecture as a prayer hall, but as a female artist, my perception was directed from a high perspective. This familiar angle was developed from the many years I sat with my mother in the ladies' gallery. Towering above, I watched the beauty of the panoramic scenes below.

Surrounded by a backdrop of architectural splendor, the male-dominated services created a spiritual euphoria of drama with movement, color, and light.

The Glory of Brighton - Middle Street. Oil on Canvas. 758 mm x 611 mm. 1995 Beverley Jane Stewart © All rights reserved.

Through exploring the theme of public and private space within Judaism, the synagogue, and the secular surroundings - I evolved and developed into a visual writer, illustrating the story of Jewish social history.

The Wedding Scene - Bevis Marks, London. Oil on Canvas. 760 mm x 606 mm. 1994 Beverley Jane Stewart © All rights reserved.

It shows how Jews have kept their identity whilst contributing to the secular world, supporting financial markets, trades, politics, and arts. I became aware of the political pressures and the relationship Jews had with the indigenous community, their acceptance, or rejection.

The Wedding Scene - Bevis Marks, London.(Detail) Beverley Jane Stewart © All rights reserved.

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Issue #50 August 2020