Karen Swyler

Artist Statement

Personal relationships are integral to our survival; they bring meaning to life and satisfy the need for interaction on both an emotional and physical level. In these situations communication is usually verbal; however nuances that arise in the absence of words are even more evocative. These interchanges occur through a touch, a glance, a smell, or a whispered word. They are quiet, subtle, and often transitory.

This work investigates subtleties in communication and the importance of the lasting effects individuals can have on each other. It is also illustrative of how meaning changes as thoughts and emotions are conveyed from one person to another. In this regard, interchange and progression are used to explore ideas about intimate, platonic, and familial relationships.

The vessels function on a variety of levels to preserve these ephemeral experiences. Sensuous surfaces, muted colors, and fluid forms create quiet relationships meant to entice visually and physically. Due to their understated nature, the nuances of these pieces take time to notice; they require close attention and a heightened level of involvement from the viewer. Closer investigation yields different colors; surfaces reveal themselves and hint at a level more sensually profound.

Inspiration for these forms and surfaces comes from a specific interest in beauty found in nature. The subtle elegance of the shapes and plumages of birds in particular, plays an important role in decisions regarding form and surface.

In this work form, surface, line, and color bring attention to delicate and subtle elements of design; they are metaphors for fleeting experiences often not valued until they have passed. Through this work, I seek to create a permanent manifestation of these experiences and convey their emotional significance.

-- Karen Swyler


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