My practice explores the affective, sensory, and inherently subjective qualities of how colour contributes to an embodied experience of place within the natural environment. I walk in the bush environment in the Campbell Creek area in Castlemaine. During my walks I experience the landscape as a series of shapes, textures, and spatial arrangements. These elements are then translated through the drawing process where they are additionally distilled down into abstract forms and shapes. I work in a visceral way allowing the colours, textures and shapes to inform each other in the painting process.
Carol Swain initially lived in Naam/Melbourne; now living in Castlemaine Central Victoria on Dja Dja Wuurung land. Swain has shown in numerous Art Galleries and Artist run spaces in Melbourne, since moving to Castlemaine, she has had two Solo exhibitions and in 2021 was in a group show with two other artists. In 2022 Swain has been selected to show in 'The Summer Show' at Kyneton Ridge Estate Winery Kyneton.
In 2018 Swain was selected for a Four-Week Artist Residency at Studio Kura, Fukuoka Prefecture, Itoshima Municipality - Japan. She stayed in a traditional Japanese house with four other artist, in a rural area, surrounded by Mountains, and market gardens.
There were ten artists staying in various Japanese houses around Itoshima. Each artist at the completion of their residency, was required to have an exhibition with regard to their practice. Carol worked in pencil and coloured pencil on cotton rag paper conveying her perceptions across a series of drawings influenced by the shapes, and negative spaces of the rocks forming the stone walls surrounding the small Japanese community where she was staying. The rock forms are metaphors expressing the delicacy, vulnerability, changes and close relationships within the community.
In 2016 Carol was selected for an Artist Residency at Cowwarr Art Space in Gippsland living in the self contained Garden Studio on the property. The aforementioned opportunity offered Swain the time and space to research the history of abstraction across reading and discussion, further developing her understanding of how abstraction influenced artists to explore other ways of expressing reality other than through realism. Abstraction revealed another way for Swain to recast the landscape not only from perspective and horizon line but through her embodied experiences of the landscape, exploring shapes, textures, space and colours. She spent time walking in the natural environment around Cowwarr, taking photos; working with a variety of materials, oils, gouache, on paper, delving into varying ways to engage with the landscape.
In 2014 Finalist 'She' Walker Street Gallery - Dandenong
In 2013 Finalist 'She' Walker Street Gallery - Dandenong
2011 Swain was awarded The Langridge Oil Painting Award, Post Graduate end of year show Victorian College of the Art.
She also has a background in Printmaking. In 2000 'Jazz Player' (Wood Block Print), was selected to be included in 'An Anthology of Printmaking and Poetry Melbourne.