Friday, October 6, 2017

Closer to Family: After 18 Years - Linda Swinfield

5th to 22nd October, 2017
 Images © Linda Swinfield

Newcastle Art Space gallery is filled with images and objects created between 2002 and 2016 by prolific artist, teacher, researcher, mentor and writer Linda Swinfield.  In her exhibition title Closer to Family: After 18 years there is double meaning referring to her family research bringing her closer to family knowledge and her planned physical relocation closer to her family.  Linda is mapping her family’s history, presenting the viewer with glimpses, personal memoirs, re-contexualised artefacts and traces of past and current lives.  Through her reinvention, Linda continues to create contemporary artefacts connecting past into present. Selected works from her 2009 Masters studies at The University of Newcastle (Haecceity - Family, Object & Memory) are included in the exhibition.  
Linda talked about her multi-disciplinary practice that utilises the print as object, while considering methodologies merging  paint to print’ and print to paint’ relationships.  It is all about family, identity, memory, social history and storytelling.  The universal human desire to experience ‘a sense of belonging’ - to family, to a written and visual history, and to location (site) and common ground is paramount.  Family recipes and photographs are transcribed into the surface of panels of lino found amongst her father’s possessions and previously used in his working life as a linoleum salesman.  Tin houses are imprinted with familial words and road map images. Linda continues to investigate the past, travelling from place to place visiting where others have lived, worked and passed, tracking and marking out their stories into a dialogue of continual discovery and re-invention.  There is a shift occurring in her own life which has directed her towards searching for a new place to belong. Her research has led her to the Blue Mountains, a region described by Linda as ‘feeling like home, like I belong’ although never having lived there. Linda is dedicated to her son Sidney, her art practice and teaching.  Moving forward she seeks space for the family and her work to continue to flourish.  A must see exhibition for those who know Linda, have been taught, influenced and mentored by her, and particularly for those interested in a multi-disciplinary approach to an art practice that places ‘printmaking’ predominantly at its centre.

 Images © Linda Swinfield
The exhibition runs until 22nd October.
Gallery hours Thurs to Sunday 12noon to 5pm.

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