Artist Statement – Anselmo Swan
My current Home series of drawings and oil paintings represents my exploration of homes as a visual metaphor for our desire to have a true home. My inspiration is derived primarily from walks around the Vancouver neighborhoods and the universal yearning for a perfect place to call home. In Mark Twain’s words, “To us, our house was not unsentient matter — it had a heart, and a soul, and eyes to see us with; and approvals and solicitudes and deep sympathies; it was of us, and we were in its confidence, and lived in its grace and in the peace of its benediction.”
Home portrays different houses in the twilight hours with the light at the front door and interior contrasting against the darkening silhouettes of the surrounding trees and evening sky but with a variation in composition and lighting. The sky and cumulus clouds in my drawings and oil paintings symbolize peace and order. The trees exemplify life and they encircle the house, almost becoming part of it. The house, lit from inside and at the entrance, represents a bastion of protection, safety and belonging in the oncoming night. Home was an opportunity for me to move away from the meticulous oil paintings of the past and transition into a freer, more painterly method of representational art.
My Home series is also a contemplation of human existence. I recall asking, “Why do we exist?” and “Were we made to be part of something greater than ourselves?”. What are the deepest longings of the human heart? In art, I see examples that wrestle with these existential questions, which bring to mind the feelings evoked by Edvard Munch’s iconic painting The Scream, a work believed to depict the anxiety of modern man. By contrast, in my Home drawings and oil paintings, the pathway to the front door leads to a home surrounded by a sense of tranquility where the entrance light is left on as night approaches. Through my Home series, I have created works to instill hope, peace and acceptance in our often imperfect world.