Art Statement & Biography 2018
My art practice excavates the complexities of Australian identity and place by responding to the suburban mundane of rural and urban environments. I am drawn to the quirkiness of the Australian landscape and am interested in how homes and streetscapes function as aesthetic incarnations of the belief structures influencing human behaviours on emotional, intellectual and spiritual levels. Over the years my practice has also included still life, landscape and portraiture.
My current work, focuses on the coast and revisiting the still life. In some of my most recent work I have painted still lives using collected unwanted ceramics and dried coastal foliage. I am interested in creating not merely picturesque still lives but synecdochal representations of place. These objects physicalise fragments of place by being displaced – pried from their original residence and recontextualised as revenant presences from another time and place.
I have a Diploma of Education Art & Craft and was a secondary art teacher in Victoria before moving to Northern NSW. Since then have taught Fine Art at TAFE, which included teaching Certificate to Diploma modules in printmaking, drawing and painting as well as Adult Education. More recently I was the Education & Audience Development Officer at the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Murwillumbah where I devised and facilitated education programs and resources for people of all ages.
I have been the finalist of major awards including in the Wynne Prize, Sulman Prize, Portia Geach Memorial Award, Moran Portrait Prize, Salon Des Refusés, Fleurieu Art Prize, Mosman Art Prize, Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize, Paddington Art Prize and the Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Prize (JADA). In 2016 my paintings were exhibited in the Popular Pet Show exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. My work is held in public and private collections throughout Australia, such as The State Library of NSW, Artbank, The Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Tweed Regional Gallery, Stanthorpe, Grafton and Lismore Regional Galleries.
Gallery representation: Arthouse Gallery, Sydney and Anthea Polson Art, Queensland
View CV: Robyn Sweaney CV