Swansea's recent paintings of urban landscapes, many depicting luminescent snow scenes, verge on abstraction and are based on the familiar, often overlooked, daily scenes of New York City. Swansea captures...
Swansea's recent paintings of urban landscapes, many depicting luminescent snow scenes, verge on abstraction and are based on the familiar, often overlooked, daily scenes of New York City. Swansea captures these fleeting moments with her camera, keeping a vast archive of subjects, investigated in depth over years. This trove of imagery is the source material for her paintings, in which she boundlessly explores topics in a serial manner, employing diverse painting techniques to evade a methodical approach to realism.
Swansea’s paintings are characterised by their ambiguity. They are at once uncannily familiar yet lack a discernible narrative or identification, instead creating a sense of hazy recollection or an elusive dream. Swansea sees her work as flexible; the reading can alter depending on who is looking at it. The ephemerality of her work is further emphasized by the way in which she prepares her canvases and applies paint to their surfaces. In the current series, Swansea primed her canvases with a traditional white ground mixed with powdered marble and mica, achieving a luminescent surface on which to apply her pure colours, which seem to flicker and fragment as though illuminated from within, lending a cinematic, mutable quality to her paintings.
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