Two hundred and twenty

An Eye on Infinity

2010 by Sharon Marie Swaine
University of the Arts, London

Swaine says her painting is driven by a curiosity about paint. Looking at the swirls, etched pigment, and mottled texture of her canvases this is easy to see. Her paintings appear as explorations, digging deep into the depths and caverns paint has to offer; painting is a world of possibilities – a creation of space, idea and time. Swaine’s paintings certainly seem to be creations of ideas rather than reflections of reality – they are much more concerned with paint and what may be posed or provoked by its various forms. Using such explorative artistic devices, it is no wonder that her canvases also become synonymous with summoning feeling or emotion; the disturbed surface of dark depths is definitely probing. An Eye on Infinity seems to begin with darkness, a cavernous black that is constantly disturbed by hints of what is hidden inside. Black is not absorbingly dense, but scattered with questions – slashes of red, bright little white eyes and glittering daubs of gold – they are all provoking interrogations, played out in painterly experiments. The impressionist-like blues ripple from the bottom of the painting, mounting to a rolling tumult of gold, before interspersing in a glorious movement that circles the only certain and stationary thing in this painting – a record. The colours seem to echo the musical potential of the record, gloating with a powerful visuality that such mundane everyday objects lack. The delicacy with which the record is painted sticks out in a crisp clarity that the painterly ever-changing surface of the rest of the painting quietly mocks. The cluster of white and gold, unclear and centred by a blue circle, is triumphant above; loosely bird-like, its wings are spread wide with its contrasting possibility. Swaine’s paint relies on the same intuition as picturing images from clouds in the sky – pure and visual imagination.

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