gio swaby

Gasp! This is the beautiful, labor-intensive mixed media work of Bahamian artist {now based in Vancouver} Gio Swaby. I was already in love with her thread and pattern-rich portraits, but I had oh so many questions. And then voila, this excerpt from an interview she did last year with SAD Magazine, answered everything:

“I was thrust into this very small minority, that really forced me to reflect on myself, my physical appearance, what people think, feel, experience, when they interact with me, how am I perceived in public spaces, and a lot of that – a lot of the interaction I have with strangers in Vancouver – is about my hair. Hair has always been important to me, as a black woman. I think for most black women, hair is a big deal – it requires or receives the most maintenance.  [which is why she chooses her medium]  … traditionally thought of as domesticity, or female-centered activities like sewing, or crocheting and knitting relates very heavily in my work – the passing down of tradition. That’s also echoed in the theme of hair and hair care, black women passing that tradition on to one another through generations. That’s why the medium of thread and fabric was so fitting. Using the thread versus pen or charcoal, communicates to the viewer a sense of labour, a sense of process, time, and length. It’s fairly painstaking, you look at it and feel that a lot has gone into creating the work, a lot of time, a lot of energy – and also a lot of love and care.” 

So, so, so much love and care. Happy Monday.

comments (1)

  1. gio swaby – Broadcast /// 10.15.2018 /// 9:57am

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