Toiling the organic world with an alchemical curiosity, Zina Swanson’s drawing and sculptural practice hints at memento-mori where cycles of birth and death serve as a reminder of the beauty and fragility of our own mortality. Her recent practice has explored the benign beauty of lily stamens sealed delicately inside hand blown test tubes submerged in water; embryonic drawings carefully crafted with tea stains and ink; a lifeless tree laid inside of a gallery linked with a rhizome of glass tubes to the world outside where raindrops fruitlessly attempt to nourish. In her exhibition at The Physics Room Swanson takes a different tact, instead of drawing on a world of lifeless objects in an attempt to reinvigorate them, she breeds life, unfurling a meticulously crafted new work that still resonates with a mystery and intrigue into the beauty and fragility of life cycles.
Zina Swanson is a Christchurch-based artist who graduated from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts with a BFA (Sculpture) in 2003. Since completing her degree she has exhibited a number of large scale sculptural works, as well as several solo exhibitions of drawings nationally at Artspace (AKL), Enjoy Public Art Gallery (WEL), HSP (CHCH) and City Art (CHCH). In 2004 she was the winner of the CoCA/Anthony Harper Award for Contemporary Art.