Robyn Sweaney: Fade to Blue

Robyn Sweaney's latest exhibition, Fade to blue, is open from Saturday, November 12, at Anthea Polson Art on the Gold Coast. Here, the award-winning Mullumbimby artist reflects on personal experiences and the various kinds of beachside dwellings that may still be encountered along the Australian coastline.

“There’s a lot of blue. These paintings are about times past and the promise of a slowing down in the future; the anticipation, a longing, sunlight and shadows, clear skies and crisp, fresh mornings - a time for contemplation,” Sweaney says. 

“For this exhibition I have depicted beach houses, some double story but most single, standing amongst developing seaside suburbs as well as those in smaller unaffected villages. Not architecturally significant and often humble, they nevertheless reflect a distinctive aesthetic,” continues Sweaney. “On a personal level,” she muses,  “these places trigger an emotional response, a reminiscing that is a mixture of pleasure with a hint of sadness and longing. In the stillness of winter I am thinking of summer.”

“My favourite time of year is after summer when things are quieter, the light is softer and shadows deeper,” says Sweaney. “Glimpsed amidst the trees or set behind lawns that are a little untidier than the manicured front gardens of the suburbs, many of these houses have been painted in differing shades of blue, softened by years of harsh sunlight,” she imparts. “And invariably, the sea has inspired their names and those of the streets; Pacific Breeze, Sea of Dreams, Beachcomber, Seagull Avenue…”

Read our interview with Robyn Sweaney in the first issue of BAM, here.

Sweaney has been awarded the Allan Gamble Memorial Prize, Mosman Art Prize and the Border Art Prize this year. It has also earned her multiple representations in many of the nation’s most prestigious art awards. To name but a few: the Portia Geach Memorial Award; the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize; the Sulman Prize; the Wynne Prize for Landscape; the Fleurieu Art Prize; the Gallipoli Art Prize; the Salon des Refuses; the Paddington Art Prize; the Mosman Art Prize; the Northern Rivers Portrait Prize; the Tattersall’s Club Landscape Prize; the Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize; JADA, Jacaranda Drawing Prize; EMSLA, Still Life Award and the Country Energy Art Prize. Sweaney holds a Bachelor of Education (Arts and Crafts), State College of Victoria, Melbourne, 1978. She was the Education and Audience Development Officer, Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre, Murwillumbah from 2011 - 2015. Her works are in the following Collections: Art Bank, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Gold Coast University Hospital Collection, Grafton Regional Art Gallery, Lismore Regional Art Gallery, Tweed River Regional Gallery, Mater Hospital, Sydney, Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW, Southern Downs Regional Art Collection, Stanthorpe.

The exhibition 'Robyn Sweaney - Fade to blue' is showing at Anthea Polson Art, Shop 120 Mariners Cove, Seaworld Drive Main Beach QLD 4217 (next to Marina Mirage), from November 12 - November 26 2016