Art News

Meet the Others: Yvette Swan

The Game Changers. The Rule Breakers. The Innovators. Discover some of the fantastic emerging talent showcasing their work at The Other Art Fair.

Introducing Sydney-based painter Yvette Swan. Yvette has given us a glimpse into her creative process, the foundations of which resonate with our theme in the Online Studios this week of ‘Art as Therapy’. Yvette practises mindfulness and being present as she creates her pieces, drawing on her current thoughts to first title and then craft a new work. She talks more about her background and the importance of finding a truth within ourselves…  

Tell us about who you are and what you do. What’s your background?

I am an abstract painter. Over time I have moved from creating bold abstract artworks to abstract landscapes, to now both abstract and abstract landscape paintings. I started creating by painting and drawing and then in art college decided to major in film and photography, after which I spent 2 years overseas working for a film company as a production assistant. That was a great experience and I loved living in London. When I returned to Australia I decided to learn more about photography. For the next 5 years I assisted photographers and was a photographer.

One day I was asked if I could create some abstract paintings for an interior design company. I loved it so much! It was so wonderful to come back full circle to painting. I then created a self-funded exhibition in a hire space. After that show I joined various galleries in Sydney, Melbourne, and Gold Coast and became a finalist in various art prizes – the Wynne Landscape Prize at AGNSW, the Metro Prize, the Fleurieu Peninsula Biennale Prize, and the Art Series Leeuwin Estate Collection to name a few. I also exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions.

Where do you draw inspiration from, and what does your work aim to say?

“I always felt like there was always a missing piece inside of me. There was a deep longing for something”

Throughout my life I have had a curiosity and a love of truth – opening to the truth of who we are. I always felt like there was always a missing piece inside of me. There was a deep longing for something, and nothing from the outside fulfilled that for very long, no matter how hard I tried. Through many avenues and experiencing various awareness courses and workshops, I then realised this deep longing I was searching for was here, inside of myself. This presence of who we are was what I was searching for. I came to realise that identification with the mind and body veiled over this deep truth. It maybe known as presence, consciousness, or awareness.

I love opening to the expansive creative energy of the unknown and have a painting evolve from this space. Such joy and peace is revealed. I have discovered that this space of who we are naturally draws people to my paintings. It is our life energy and is present in every human being, animal, tree, flower, blade of grass, and all of existence.

Painting is a medium I love to use where I am able to open to something that is much greater than “me and my life”. It is something that the mind cannot grasp and understand but it is known to us all as we are this space. Another word for us is awareness.

I love opening to truth and I’m thankful when I have created an artwork from this space and it is received by another.

Can you walk us through your process for creating a work?

Letting go, coming out of thinking about it, and relaxing and having fun is the key! All else unfolds from this joyful and peaceful space.

Mostly I create paintings firstly by titling the work. This gives me inspiration from something deeper. A title sets the scene and then I look at the blank canvas and get a feel for the starting point and the colouring. Sometimes I have part of the look already coming through before I begin. Other times I just make a mark on the canvas and this instinctively creates the next mark. Intuition is the creative driver. Letting go, coming out of thinking about it, and relaxing and having fun is the key! All else unfolds from this joyful and peaceful space.

Who are your biggest influences, and why?

For whatever reason, Vincent Van Gogh captivated people’s love of his work. I remember in art class in high school learning about him and his work. I was mesmerised. Such incredible and expressive work, and the colours shimmered and came off the canvas. Learning about him as an artist was also fascinating. I love knowing about the person and the time in history they lived. I’ve come to realise that Vincent Van Gogh was most likely a highly sensitive person and probably living in a time when the world was not very aware. No-one to speak to for support, no awareness courses to be a part of. The world he lived in was much more unaware than the world we live in now. So many more people are awake now and can support one another, and support truth and love opening on the planet.

So yes Vincent Van Gogh’s work was inspirational as he captured something beyond the physical scene he was painting. I feel he was probably very in tune with the deeper truth. He just needed some support along the way.

What can people expect from you next?

I am planning to be part of a couple of art fairs in Australia in 2020. I’m also planning to take my work overseas next year to exhibit in an art fair…or two. We shall see! I am also planning to write another small book of poetry and learn more about film script writing.

Introducing… The Online Studios – The Other Art Fair, delivered to you. A new online platform offering art lovers around the world access to over 800 Fair artists, The Online Studios will keep our community feeling inspired, engaged, and continue to spread joy through art.