Heather B Swann


Asialink Arts through the initiative Global Project Space, with acclaimed Australian artist Heather B Swann present a new commission in Tokyo. Titled I LET MY BODY FALL INTO A RHYTHM, this commission has been developed through 2017-18.

Beginning with a period of research in September-October 2017 at Tokyo Wondersite. During this first phase of the project Heather worked with local residents and artists on what she describes as ‘performance tools’, sculptures through which she will explore new visual, aural and somatic domains.

Heather B Swann is a significant contemporary Australian artist. Her work is critically well-regarded and widely enjoyed for its sensuous elegance of form, its acute sensitivity to the potential of materials, its highly refined, even obsessive methods of construction and its dark, surreal expressiveness.

The processes of encounter and activation will be documented as I LET MY BODY FALL INTO A RHYTHM develops. Over the 12 months following the initial exchange, the artist has worked to create an installation and performance structure for final presentation at BUoY Arts Center, Tokyo as part of Australia Now and The Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne in 2018.

My work is a way of holding on to the world. My sculptures and drawings are figurative and modernist in expression, with curved forms, an insistent use of black and a marked surrealist accent. In recent years I have been working on performance projects involving composers, instrumentalists and singers, and I am refining the idea of sculptural objects as performance tools. Heather B Swann

Heather's new work is expected to build on the artist’s recent successes at the Art Gallery of South Australia (Banksia Men, 2016 at the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art) and the National Gallery of Australia (Nervous, 2017). These exhibitions combined discrete sculptural objects, installation and performance, and involved close collaboration with a composer, instrumentalists and singers.

The commission is being developed with assistance from the Australia Council for the Arts, through a partnership between Asialink ArtsThe Ian Potter Museum of Art, and the University of Melbourne.

My participation in the program is firstly to make a close connection to Japanese culture, both traditional and contemporary. I will seek joy and inspiration in prehistoric and historical art and artefacts. I will walk around. I am interested in meeting people who will use my performance tools in their own way and for their own purpose. Heather B Swann

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