Charlotte Swiden (b. 1980, Sweden) immigrated to Australia in 2005, settling in Melbourne/Naarm.
With a background in art, she transitioned into the field of design. Following a ten-year hiatus and
the birth of her second child, Swiden returned to her painting practice, describing it as a “call from her soul” and an undeniable urge to reconnect with her artistic roots.
Drawing on personal reflections of her Scandinavian upbringing and her new home, Swiden’s work has been shaped by the interplay of two identities, two cultures, and the tensions that lie between them.
In the soft discord of existence between two worlds, Swiden weaves themes of rituals, folklore, and modern life. Playing with ambiguity, she allows objects and figures to break and layer over one another – symbolically destabilising boundaries and reshaping them in their new environments. With a wistful and empathetic approach, Swiden’s artworks eloquently depict the intricacies of the human experience.
Charlotte Swiden currently lives and works on Boon wurrung (Bunurong) land in Australia.
She is represented by Saint Cloche Gallery in Sydney. And yes, Swiden is her actual birth name.
ARTIST STATEMENT & ETHOS
When I started Swiden Design in 2010, I wanted to create a collection of beautiful, high-quality designs that you would keep forever.
A unique aesthetic, quality materials and an ethical means of production has always been at the forefront of this process.
I also feel that the most important ethics are the ones we practice outside of our work hours and I always try and live my life as close to my values as possible.
In 2015 I had my second child which led me to shift focus. I started collaging and painting again and I took my practice back to my foundations. Time became so precious, I needed to simplify and become more minimalistic in what I chose to do.
Once I started painting again it was all so clear and easy. It was like I had an 800 page novel waiting inside, burning to escape. Painting is just who I am at my very core.
Some of the ways in which I seek to limit my impact on mother earth include:
· My paintings are original and made with time, love and utter care to last a life time
· The frames for my paintings are made with local, sustainable timber and craftsmanship
· I only use local crafts people to help my work come to life
· The designs I’ve created are all limited editions or one of pieces
· I use vegetable based inks which don’t harm the environment
· The paper I use for my prints are 100% cotton rag acid-free paper which is designed to meet gallery and museum longevity requirements
· The wall hangings are printed onto linen, one of the most sustainable fabrics we have available
· Non-toxic, water based dyes are used on printed fabrics
This is all good, but I truly believe that we can all do a little bit better than what we are currently doing so I constantly challenge my practice to be more sustainable for the long term.