"When I look at early photographic portraits I can be captivated by a particular mood or light and will then spend hours fantasising about the back-story or personalities of the sitters. As Scorsese says, "The most interesting and exciting thing in the whole world is the human face."

Geraldine Swayne

Geraldine Swayne creates intimate yet powerful works painting with enamel on small copper or aluminium panels. Swayne’s small paintings feel like historical miniatures but feature contemporary subjects from sources as diverse as pornography, landscape painting and portraits of friends. The paintings feel completely self contained and accomplished, and yet have a subtle brevity of form and lightness of touch. A portrait of a fading rock star painted in jewel like tones on enamel takes on a completely new meaning in her intimate and compelling style.

 

Swayne is also a member of the celebrated band ‘Faust’ and has often blurred the boundaries between her work as a painter as a musician. Not only does she paint her musical collaborators but she also incorporates painting into her on-stage performances and documents her experimental performances in her paintings.

 

Swayne is noted for navigating the complex relationships between painting, music and film. Her multifaceted and distinguished career includes winning a Northern Arts Travel award to paint and make super-8 films about Voodoo in New Orleans.  She moved to France in 1991 painting portraits and large outdoor paintings for the Marie of St Jean de Fos. Since 1999, she has made numerous experimental films including the world’s first super-8 to Imax film 'East End', produced by Cathy Shaw, and narrated by Miriam Margolyes with music by Nick Cave.

 

After leaving the film industry in 2004 she worked as an assistant for Jake and Dinos Chapman rebuilding 'Hell'. Although better known as a painter she joined experimental rock group …bender in 2005 and in the following year, the seminal 'Krautrock" group 'Faust' with whom she has recorded two albums and toured widely, making musical improvisations and live paintings at venues such as the Wrexner Centre for the Arts in Ohio, Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art and CalArts.

 

As a painter she has been exhibited in numerous group and solo shows at including the Barbican, Calvert 22, L-13 and Fred, London. In 2010 she was a finalist in the John Moores painting prize, Walker Gallery, Liverpool. In 2014 she was awarded a live/work residency at Acme Fire-station in East London, where she now lives and paints. 

Works