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SPECRES

Beautés Équivoques, Limoges, France | 2021

Curator's Statement

The environmental question, bound to that  of human destiny, has always been at the heart of Linda Swanson’s work. Nature became her work “partner.” 1 She was guided on this path by her time at the New York State College of Ceramics (Alfred University), whose laboratory invited experimentation, and confirmed by a residence in Iceland, of which she vividly remembers geysers and incessant laterite-tinged rain. Avid for open spaces, fascinated by natural history,  

Linda Swanson explored ceramic in depth through its constituents (clays, powdered glazes …), which she exposed variously to solidifying and dissolving agents, fire and water. She works impartially with raw or fired materials. The pieces shown today are of glazed porcelain. Ceramic is an archive that holds the memory of the material of which it is made and the gesture that shaped it. Through ambitious, sometimes participative installations, she enjoys revealing, live and  in real time, the processes of modification  of material over time. Her work is fully congruent with what Paul Ardenne calls ecological art (combining environmental ethics and esthetics). Linda Swanson occupies a meditative and poetic abstraction that privileges excrescences, dilations, bubbles, decantations, dissolutions, crystallizations … She designs chemical combinations, adds color, watches reactions. Her experiments are artistic gestures: thought-out, orchestrated, staged. She exalts an elemental, virginal Nature and brings it into the exhibition space. Eschewing premeditation, she rejects any idea of mastery, seeks out uncertainty and accepts  it as a process of artistic emancipation. By submitting these physical and chemical reactions to human observation,  

Linda Swanson aims to raise public consciousness of nature’s beauty and incredible creative variety. Linda Swanson puts her trust in fascination and wonder to re-enlighten humanity as to the relationship that must exist between Nature and Culture

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