In a series of landscape paintings, Seward explores our collective use of technology, set against our desire to preserve the natural environment.
For the past five years, “Stealth Towers,” has been the subject of this inquiry, as real and imagined cell-phone towers are camouflaged as pine trees, church steeples, flag poles, barn silos, and totem poles. Depicted with traditional techniques, and with a nod to the Hudson River School style of painting, these works place communications infrastructure in a Romantic, sometimes religious, context.
“My attempt is to seduce the viewer with a beautifully painted image, but then discover a betrayal with a narrative contrary to the original emotion. I’m as conflicted about living in the post-modern world as anyone else, and present these works as open-ended questions.”
This new body of work looks at another current technological wonder framed against the sky: drone aircraft. The on-going quest to control the sphere geo-politically – black operations since the Cold War – continues as stealth drones dominate the skies over domestic and foreign lands. As unwitting ambassadors of American policy, drone planes demonstrate our reliance on technological solutions while, literally, being personally removed from the equation.
“I’m hoping that the viewer considers this surveillance tool from another angle, by juxtaposing the invasiveness of remote technologies with pristine landscape and, sometimes, to explore stylization of the piece from a non-Western tradition.”