Stuart Mayes lives and works in Enköping, Sweden. His practice encompasses installation, live work, sculpture and projects. In addition he runs Glitter Ball showroom & projects – an artist run space in Enköping.
Stuart studied at Dartington College of Arts and the Slade School of Fine Art as well as taking research programmes at Konstfack and the Royal Institute of Art Stockholm.
About the work I remember as a child looking up at pendants hanging high above me in the castles, churches and cathedrals that we visited on family holidays. I was both fascinated and intimidated by them. Images of them stuck with me – faded, dusty, sometimes battle-scared textiles that evidenced histories of authority, conflict, pride, and loss.
I find them difficult things: beautifully crafted bearers of complex meanings. The Trophy series is an exploration of some of the contradictions and questions that armorial objects evoke. It extends my interest in remixing and repositioning commonplace materials, imagery, and techniques. Each trophy is fashioned from two men’s shirts and a number of ties. These items are secondhand and usually sourced in charity shops. I know nothing about the two men whose shirts I take apart and pair up to resemble a coat of arms. During the time it takes me to first carefully unpick the shirts’ front panels and then form and hand-sew ties in mock symbolic motifs I wonder about the relationships that men have with their clothes, with their ties - literal and metaphorical, with their history, with the systems and institutions in which they find themselves and with each other.