"When I came to Australia to make a life in my twenties, I had no thoughts on how the cultural differences were going to affect me. Over time I have started to feel more assimilated, and more separated. I think much of my work has been a reflection on that interplay and conflict of identity. 

A while back we moved from the inner city to the coast, and I experienced a second degree of separation. At the same time, I found deeper human connections, fired, and wired together above life’s changes."

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About the Artist

Charlotte Swiden (b. 1980, Sweden) moved to Australia in 2005, settling in Melbourne/Naarm.  With a background in art, she transitioned into the field of design. Following a ten-year hiatus and the birth of her second child, Swiden returned to her painting practice, describing it as a “call from her soul” and an undeniable urge to reconnect with her artistic roots. 

Drawing on personal reflections of her Scandinavian upbringing and her new home, Swiden’s work has been shaped by the interplay of two identities, two cultures, and the tensions that lie between them. 

In the soft discord of existence between two worlds, Swiden weaves themes of rituals, folklore, and modern life. Playing with ambiguity, she allows objects and figures to break and layer over one another – symbolically destabilising boundaries and reshaping them in their new environments. With a wistful and empathetic approach, Swiden’s artworks eloquently depict the intricacies of the human experience. 

Charlotte Swiden currently lives and works on Boon wurrung (Bunurong) land in Australia. She is represented by Saint Cloche Gallery in Sydney. 

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