Paula Swinburn (December 1964) is a Chilean artist, living in Santiago, Chile, and mother of five children.
Swinburn has shown her work in Chile and Argentina, and is part of two art books by Arte Al Límite.
Arte Al Límite (www.arteallimite.com).
The painting of Paula Swinburn, Visual Artist.
By Nadia Paz, Art Curator (Argentina).
Chile. May, 2016.
Communicating in silence
Paula Swinburn started getting interested in visual arts at around the age of four. Paint, volume, line, shape, and especially color have always fascinated her. Since she was a child, she has developed a very contemplative eye, constantly observing nature, trees, the movement of the leaves in the wind, eddies, and the earth and its sunsets. Capturing the colors of the landscapes at different times of the day inspired her to keep developing her own art. Painting has always be an important part of her life, beginning with the landscapes of her great-great-grandfather Enrique Swinburn Kirk that hung in her grandparents and parents' house, her mother even held painting contests between her siblings.
At the young age of nine, she started to attend painting classes with Teresa Gacitúa and later with other artists. Later, she continued her education at the Universidad de Chile's Faculty of Arts. After that, she spent two years with the photographer Luis Poirot and took sculpture classes with sculptor Francisco Gacitúa.
Artistic creation, as well as the people she loves, means everything in her life. From a young age she knew she belonged in art and in those moments when she was really happy, where she could express her feelings with herself and everyone else. Art watched her come into this world and has been beside her, arm in arm, as she grows.
Her artistic work has led her to explore the world of sculpture, photography and dance, which is always connected to painting, since that is what she has worked with every day and also where she found her channel of communication with the world. In this sense, what inspires her work is finding that moment of really connecting with life in the paint, connecting with its essence, where only the present and harmony exist. Her paintings arise from the profound need of expressing that which she could never find words for. She defines this as: "that tiny yet immense space that exists between words, where silence, stillness, and contemplation prevail, where our greatest reservations about life and creativity lie, our origin."
Her paintings are like small windows into consciousness, forms full of content that can only be seen within the soul. Swinburn has only one goal: to keep painting and creating, to immerse herself in a creative ocean and successfully narrow the distance in the journey between her inner being and the paper, leaving behind not only the painting but the experience as well. "There is not distance between what I am and what I am experiencing within me, and what is happening in my work," states the artist, who is interested in reviving that timeless space, that space of silence. In order to display that meditative state, she must resort to the action and the material, which in her case is produced through oil paint and enamel.
Paula works with materials that she can dance with, in a way in which there is no stopping or hesitation, where movement is sure and conscious, where her entire being, body, mind, and heart are present, living through the paint, creating and making it into a unique experience. Each piece is a beginning, a gestation. Even though emotion was the protagonist in the beginning, with time and progression as an artist, today her work is more controlled. The white canvass surrounds and embraces the color, the form remains within it in a uniquely and complexly balanced way. Each canvas has harmony and is strong enough to stand up as a universe in itself.
Swinburn admits that art is the antithesis of logic thinking. Her work, as she admits, is not completely finished until it interacts with the viewer. In this sense, she hopes to touch the soul of whoever is observing her work, and take them to a space outside of logic, where communication between them and the piece is created through that silence, through that active pause that she gives so much meaning to. It is communicating in her own language, which exceeds words, or slips between them.
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Arte Al Límite Editorial
© Paula Swinburn 2015