As brilliantly unexplainable as beams of colourful light that pry through oneʼs closed eyelids when they lay in the sunshine, Jess Swannʼs work is best when experienced individually.
A tactile artist that paints as freely with or without a brush, hers is a creativity inspired by the moment.
Spending most of her childhood years in Wales and now based in London, Jess has managed to fuse the visual influence of her surroundings to create her artworks- whether that be from natural or urban landscapes.
With a spiritual connection to her Maori and Welsh roots, she says from a young age itʼs very much been about that correlation between light and colour, and the patterns in nature that she tries to encapsulate in her art. The glimmering reflection of light on water or the spectral formations in our natural environment both worthy examples.
Very much an artist inspired by the spontaneity of the moment, her works are both expressive and instinctive. Moving freely from one piece to the next, Jess has no qualms with leaving a project only to return to it when the inspiration is rekindled. As far as she is concerned, being too precious about one particular work is commensurate to being idle.
With an insatiable desire to create, Jess certainly is not one to limit herself to the canvas. Her background being primarily in textile design and photography, she knows her way around dark rooms and weaving looms, macro-images and microfibres. Be it obscure electronic music of the late 60ʼs to eclectic African rhythms, Jess Swann often delves into her record collection to assist with mood and channel the creativity to flesh out these landscapes. She speaks with fond nostalgia of her time spent in West Africa, particularly Gambia where she taught for a sustainable tourism project with the local villages and communities. Jess still draws much inspiration from the vibrance and color of African culture; namely the crafts, textiles and local prints… her memories still rich with sights and sounds from the marketplace, fruits and vegetable stands and beaches.
With a collection of her work currently posted at The Southern Wilds exhibition in conjunction with the people at Marbles And Ware collective, her work has also been exhibited at galleries and film festivals throughout London. It is her upcoming project however, that she speaks of with particular endearment. Perennially curious with the connection between the human anatomy and the vast cosmos in which we inhabit, Jess explains the reasoning behind the premise for her Universe Project. With reference to the ideas of Fibonacci, her pieces will touch on the peculiar similarities of cosmic clusters and nebulas, capillaries and veins… in essence, the universe that exists inside us all.
Indeed, the future is looking bright for Jess Swann. However, for an artist like her that thrives on the moment, it is now that she is fundamentally concerned with. Having the unequivocal freedom to create without constraints or restrictions translates to less artistic blocks in the path. Still very much enjoying the journey, this is an artist to keep your eye on.
(Written for Jess Swann’s artist bio, 27/9/2015)