Artist Statement

Connection, community and belonging are the overarching themes of my work in visual arts.

We cannot expect to connect with our creator, or higher truth, if we cannot maintain connections with each other and our environment. As we live in an increasingly fragmented world, art is a vital way of searching for the truth that connects us all. I am inspired by people, places, events and objects that connect my personal story with the story of my community.

The act of painting itself is a personal way of connecting with the world.  At first a solitary activity, which allows for a meditative interaction within myself, making art connects me to personal faith. Then, once a piece is complete, when it resonates with another person, a connection is forged. This is where art transcends the solitude of the creative process.

I find myself drawn to urban landscapes – initially out of a personal connection, but then as my work progresses, I become engaged with a deeper feeling of belonging. Exploration of the connection between our structures and the natural environment as well as the eddies and currents of fluid motion that bind us.

After graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto in 1990, I turned to a more literal (hands on) connection with the world through a career as a registered massage therapist. In recent years, I have returned to my passion for relating to the world through visual arts, my paint box tucked under the massage table.

My “Around The Bay” painting series specifically explores that part of each of us, no matter what our background, drawn to encouraging others to achieve their own goals. I think there is something beautiful in the altruism of an entire community, manifested in roadside spectators cheering on the runners, even strangers, even if they aren’t runners themselves. This event is an example of community bringing out the best in people.

The Hamilton and area community is both my subject and an inspiration that drives me. I have a strong local following from years of selling and exhibiting art. My work is a reflection of the life, energy and connections that bind us all, with a vibrant, expressive style structured over an impressionistic illustrative framework.Signed, Dylan Swan