Artist talk with Blackie Swart
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'Berlin, December 1959', 2019

Mixed media on board

100 x 135 cm

Tell us about yourself.

I am based in Oxford, United Kingdom where I have a large studio attached to my home. I divide my time equally between making art and other pursuits.  By definition one would say I am mostly self-taught but I do use the Internet constantly as a training aid. I have chosen not to be represented by galleries at this time in favour of exhibiting at artist led art fairs and promoting my work online.

I avoid over elaborate artists statements and prefer to use simple, every day language to describe my practice.

Where did your passion for art begin?

As a young boy growing up in Manchester. I knew nothing about art and the only artist I’d probably ever heard of was Picasso but I loved to draw and paint pictures. I moved to South Africa when I was 17 and lost touch with my passion for art for many years until I enrolled on a course at the Johannesburg School of Art. I was then able to immerse myself more completely in art when I returned to live in the UK.

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How would you describe your work to someone?

Well it is technically non-representative and abstract but I would say my work is quiet, contemplative, and sensitive and sometimes lonely and solemn.

What are you currently working on?

I am working on a series of smaller pieces using concrete, and parcels of canvas.

'Untitled', 2017

Mixed media on board

80 x 80 cm

When you start a new work or project, do you plan what you’re going to create or do you improvise?

Whilst I usually have a strong sense of what it is I am going to do, I allow my process take me in a different direction, using instinct as my guides. For me this has to be a blend of analysis and intuition as it is important I create work that continues my overall journey and doesn’t result in a disjointed, disconnected body of work.

Can you highlight some of your influences and discuss how your influences have made an impact on you and your practice?

So many. Antoni Tapies, Lawrence Carroll, Alberto Burri and so many of the artists I feature on my @_nota_gallery Instagram page.

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'I think of you often', 2019

Mixed media on board

80 x 100 cm

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'Untitled', 2019

Mixed media on board

80 x 80 cm.

What are your plans for the remainder of this year?

Create art and potentially exhibit new works.