Today I am sharing an interview I did with mixed media artist Rhian Swierat. This is an interview series I call Artist in Residence.
I heard this great quote on the web recently: “On the bright side, I am no longer calling this shelter-in-place. I am now an artist-in-residence.” It got me thinking about how times of adversity and challenge are often what inspire action and creation for us artists.
I decided to seek out some peers whom I admire and ask them how they are using this time to be working artists. What has changed for them? Where are they finding room to create at home if they previously worked in an offsite studio, out-of-doors, or are now sharing a home studio with other working-from-home family members? What are they creating now – is it influenced by the current situation or on a similar path as before? Are they feeling called to action or struggling to create?
Everyone is responding differently to this crisis. Let’s learn how others are coping with their new status as Artists in Residence.
A little bit about this video:
This interview is with mixed media artist Rhian Swierat who works with embroidery, paint, paper, and explorations into memory. She talks about her process: from gathering impressions from places to translating those feelings and textures in a tactile way through stitching and pattern elements. She discusses her material choices, her embrace of accidents, and how the direction of a piece may change as she’s working on it. In response to the pandemic, Rhian talks about adapting to a more fluid schedule, the importance of doing something creative each day, and some of the bittersweet emotions that creating her artwork brings out. She shows some of her latest pieces, describes how working big has been beneficial, and talks about some of the parallels between her artmaking and her job as a graphic designer.