Embodying Vibrance and Joy, Gio Swaby’s Patterned Portraits Celebrate Blackness and Womanhood | Colossal


DECEMBER 28, 2022. KATE MOTHES

“New Growth Second Chapter 11” (2021), thread and fabric sewn on canvas, 16 x 20 inches. All images © Gio Swaby

In Bahamian artist Gio Swaby’s colorful sewn portraits, an invisible yet integral thread comes in the form of an invitation to celebrate Blackness and womanhood. Through the language of textiles and pattern, her practice centers on accessibility and facilitating connection with the viewer. “I think about people like me and how I didn’t get into art or museums or anything until I was 19,” she tells Colossal, sharing that the historical exclusion of Blackness in art motivates her to make pieces that reflect individuality and joy in a mirror-like way.

“Seated Figure” (2022), thread and fabric sewn on canvas, 55 x 66 x 1 inches

The Toronto-based artist began working with sewing and textiles around ten years ago, and her use of the medium acknowledges the intersection of traditional craft and fine art, viewed through the lens of personal relationships. […]

Left: “Love Letter 10” (2021), thread and fabric sewn on canvas, 38 x 84 inches. Right: “Love Letter 5” (2021), thread and fabric sewn on canvas, 38 x 84 inches

More: Embodying Vibrance and Joy, Gio Swaby’s Patterned Portraits Celebrate Blackness and Womanhood — Colossal

About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at http://www.sambaman.org.uk
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