Landlines 2016: a postscript

A BIG thank you to Lisa and Wayne Heaton, of Curve Gallery in Newcastle NSW for including my work and a second airing of Digging the clays: seeking family, the collaboration made with ceramic artist Helen Dunkerley exhibited in Hidden 2015 into this curated exhibition in July.

This exhibition also included the work of emerging clay artist Holly McDonald and Catherine Hickson as well as the work of Hunter based Helen Dunkerley.

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This Pop up house forms series was commenced whilst in residence at Ashfield in 2015. The images were a response to roof lines around the residency and about being an artist, travelling and folding up our lives to develop our practice.

They are created with layers of monoprinting techniques and drawing.

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Digging the clays: seeking family is a collaboration that commenced whilst Linda Swinfield was Artist in Residence with Ashfield Council between January and April in 2015.

This site specific work additionally contains layers of Helen Dunkerleys knowledge regarding materiality surrounding clay and brickmaking history; this is referenced within the surface, its layers and inherent site related material.

Born out of a conversation that took place at the residency site with Helen Dunkerley this work investigates the importance of the Ashfield shale clay and its history within this area. Swinfield spent her time in residence at Thirning Villa researching her familial history and brickmaking history connected to this area.

last works abstract

Final images of the 70 + tiles- Digging the clays: seeking family 2015.  Including images of familial text screen printed, monoprinted and stenciled onto clay with Helen Dunkerley for Hidden 2015.


This collaboration utilised both artists’ practices and incorporates both Swinfield’s printmaking skills and Dunkerleys ceramic knowledge.

Swinfield is connected with the Mead family who were local brick makers. They lived and worked along the strip of land now known as The Cadigal Reserve area. They lived near The Iron cove creek that runs through Sydney’s inner western suburbs between Haberfield and Summer Hill.

 She came from Floods bush another series that was commenced at the residency in Ashfield.  Where Swinfield realised that the Cadigal reserve was originally called Floods Bush as inscribed on her great grandmothers birth certificate in the 19th century.

This newer body of works incorporates an abstract structure is an emblematic reference to the truss bridge, circa 1880 that straddles The Cadigal reserve. Once the home and work site of her family who made bricks to build the domestic dwellings of Sydney’s fledgling suburbs during the 19th century.

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Landlines: Curve Gallery 2016

I am very pleased that the work produced over the past 12 months, commenced whilst I was artist in residence at Ashfield between January and April last year will be in a group exhibition at Curve Gallery Newcastle next month.

The exhibition will include the collaboration from last years Hidden install at Rookwood Cemetery with Helen Dunkerley Digging the Clays: seeking family, my own screen prints and drawings on paper.

Opening on July 8th at 6pm.

Postcard series 2

Iron cove creek series ( working title) Postcard size.






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Doing it for our kids: School fundraiser

In the lead up to the 125th Anniversary at my sons school in April, I volunteered to screen print make T shirts and tote bags that could be sold to raise money for the P and C.

I wish to thank artist and designer Joh Waller for volunteering her time and expertise to get the dot screen right and printmaking awesomeness !!!

Also a HUGE thanks to all the  fabulous selfless staff and community participants at Awaba Public School who worked through their holidays to get it all done!

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Womens Art Prize 2016

I am pleased to announce that my work Plunder series: Southern’s beekeeper ( mirrored) 2016 has been selected for inclusion in the annual Womens Art Prize. The work is on exhibition at See Street Gallery, Meadowbank Campus of The Northern Sydney Institute – part of TAFE NSW, See Street, Meadowbank. All artworks selected for the exhibition must remain on display until 4 pm of 2 July.

The gallery hours are from 11 am to 4 pm, Tuesday to Saturday.

Plunder series 2013-2016 is a playful, yet serious group of print based images and objects using art historical imagery as a starting point plundered from art history. After leaving her teaching job in 2013 Swinfield started the series and it has become an ongoing one.

The images chosen for this series represent images of women and girls from art history. Favourite artworks and key images and objects have been selected to represent often abstract and complex narratives including memory, place and identity.

Whilst in residence at Laughing Waters Road in 2013, Swinfield researched and commenced a group of Australian works with local significance. This group of images included Clara Southern’s Bee keeper, circa 1900, painted in at Warrandyte.

Plunder series: Southern’s beekeeper 1 (mirrored), 2016 contains images of the landscape itself around Laughing Waters Road.

Plunder series- Southern beekeeper 2, 2016, SWINFIELD resize1

Plunder series: Southern’s beekeeper 1 ( mirrored) 2016, Photo lithography and monoprinting with gesso, charcoal and book binding glue on Stonehenge papers.

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Radio Interview 2015- 2RDJ

This is more overdue unfinished blogging! It has taken me a while to grasp the technology… but here we are! As lightly nervous interview at the start of my residency at Thirning Villa in Ashfield 2015.

Radio Interview with the lovely Maris Rea at Radio RDJ in Burwood 2015

Radio Interview 2015- 2RDJ



Seeking family series: Georgian house and Cadigal Reserve 2015






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Seeing double: In photography and printmaking

Its all about the layers, its completely within the layers… and its not all digital!

Whilst I see printmaking as central to my work, I am a contemporary art maker who walks across borders. I use photography almost like a drawing tool.

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I often start by working with photographing a site. To document a sense of place, its history and memory. This process within my work has a personal component, connected with my  heritage. The use of both photography and a keen interest in history is a family gift.

All art making for me, no matter what materials you are using should be considered as capturing ideas within layers.

This particular technique of re-exposing film, multiple times was a popular in the 1960s and 70s and used by many artists. Its experimental and accidental layering can be uneven and that’s exactly why I like to use it! Its all about accidents.

SWINFIELD Linda_ Remembering place 2_ The artists hand in Southern country_ 2013

Remembering place series: the artists hand in Southern country 2013.










In 2013, whist I was ” in residence” at Laughing Waters Roads- Birrarung House, I started to take this process a little more seriously. During my stay at the residence shot about 5 rolls of film, I was a bit obsessive and possessive about it all.

Whilst Catherine Morse ( Tasmanian artist) who I shared the residence with and I joked about to strange occurrences that took place  whilst we were there… I now speculate if a ghost guided me in my processes there. There is a spooky connection to the story of the site, and one connected to the sites artistic history about its origins that surfaced after the residency when I become aware of Sue Fords work. In particular her double exposed images photographed on site. It is even more eerie that some of the work that I commenced there looks quite similar to hers.

Bed and bush.jpg

Remembering place series: Bed and bush, 2013.- Laughing Waters Road series

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Photographic media and its influence.

This is very over due blog post… about 35 years overdue. I originally started writing this little historic blurb two years ago.

Many believe I am a just a photographer… well this needs to be stated, cos I confuse a lot of people! Whilst I don’t identify as a stand alone photographer,  I use and have always used photographic processes within my art practice and throughout my art career.

Since the beginning of my “art life” in 1979, a thread of photographic practice has continually trailed through my art making. Its always been there!

selfie 1 1979 pinhole

Selfie 1, 1979, Cardboard Pinhole camera, 8 x 10 cm


selfie 2 1979 pinhole

Selfie 2, 1979, Cardboard Pinhole camera, 8 x 10 cm

I  walked off the path from traditional photography, not having access to a dark room for many years, the continuing thread of seeing and framing images trough a camera lens, the way I was initially trained to has been a constant studio support for me.

When I couldn’t draw, paint or make prints and didn’t have a studio per se, I used photography to record ideas, document processes and just experiment with depth of field, abstraction and life in general.

bycicle 1979

Bicycle 1979, 8 x 10 cm

As a young art student of 17 years at Meadowbank TAFE ( Sydney Gallery School), I majored in black and white photography and then started to work with its extended processes at university where it became more experimental!

Looking back now this is where I started to cut up images and use collage elements any conscious view of the materiality of paper recycling.

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After art school I fell in love with C41 processes when they became available and technology changed, I also used a lot of slide film and utilsed the mainstream colour lab processes as they were available. However ironically the digital revolution has been the slowest shift for me. After learning the now often taken for granted digital processes which we all take for granted I am enjoying their immediacy.

When I returned to University in Newcastle in 2003 to commenced my Masters degree I started working with Lithography and linked all the multiple processes of drawing, printmaking and photography by learning Photo Positive Lithography.

straw 1984

Straw 1984

Whilst I have a whole library of slides from this era that still need to be scanned, I am undergoing a period of realization during a studio shift that I have never truly acknowledged. I have scanned for the purposes of this post some print images from this era. I am not sure of the dates… some are guessed.

During my university research the second time around, I finally came to the realisation that several generations of photographers existed in the Swinfield family. This enabled me to give into it all and say… its in our blood!




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