I am engaged in the process of delving into what I think and feel--a kind of archaeology of the mind and senses and guts. But I am not interested in static artifacts from the past but rather in uncovering what has been buried, out of sight. Once in the light it is mine--a dance of continuous transformation--mine to watch and witness, to delight in, to wonder about.
I believe that we are co-creators of our reality. In painting I am challenging realities that I have made. In play with my thoughts and feelings--as they change moment to moment--I move through images, forms, colours. Painting is a process for remaking my own reality.
pastel on paper 2007
" Distorted and disembodied, rendered in hues once held inappropriate, Amy Swartelé's work summons those other reaches one prefers to hide. Creatures break through from a deep inside that the skin usually hides. Sad eyes suffer. This is not a nightmare. But perhaps it is tomorrow.
These are powerful paintings, created well outside courtesies of polite conversation."
- Anthony Bannon, Ph. D
Director, George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film
My recent work has grown out of a preoccupation with change and with the phenomenon of perception as it too changes moment to moment as we encounter the world. But my focus has shifted. I find myself puzzling more and more over the endless stream of changes that occur within the self.
We often remain unaware of this flow of change within; or we refuse to acknowledge these transformations because they challenge our idea of 'self', that image we have constructed to represent what we pretend to be. Too often we forget that our reality is a piece of theatre and we are its author, its designer, and its protagonist.
This metaphor of 'theatre'; allows me to approach my own inner reality with a growing playfulness. I can welcome as passing parade what my own psyche offers--absurdity, grotesquerie, a carnival of demons and freaks, that may frighten, fascinate, seduce. I let them come--to play, to integrate and disintegrate, to change and cavort, through my thoughts and feelings. I know them to be impermanent and it is with laughter and hopefulness that I await their inevitable shifts within the ever-shifting. Yet to come there may be rebirth, evolution, infinite possibility.
'the watcher watched' oil on canvas 2007