Ruby Swinney lives and works in Cape Town. The artist graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2015.
Swinney, who is known for using oil on tracing paper, transports the viewer into a parallel universe. These semi-recognisable and timeless landscapes are inhabited by peculiar figures that encapsulate the fragility of humanity. The ethereal nature of her paintings expresses a state of uncertainty and longing for the natural world, one that is slowly vanishing. Noah Swinney (2018) echoes these sentiments:
“Ruby Swinney’s work strives to decenter the self through a complete submergence into the self. This moral responsibility of empathy is for and about all life human and natural, familiar and alien. These paintings are about the universal deep waters of the individual, it is an attempt to stare into the face of Human Nature and seeing there not the romance of idyllic beauty but a troubled tangle of thoughts and pictures, fears and insecurities, a noise of bathing suits and family portraits, and beyond that, silence.”
The artist’s work forms part of notable collections such as the Zeitz MOCAA Collection, the Matthias Hartman Collection, the M&C Saatchi Abel Collection and the Frank and Lizel Kilbourne Collection.
Swinney has exhibited at various group shows and Art Fairs in South Africa including the FNB Joburg Art Fair, Cape Town Art Fair (2016 – 2018), Nothing Personal at SMAC Gallery, (Stellenbosch: 2016), Arcadia at Smith Gallery (Cape Town: 2016) and Bad Habitus at Mullers Gallery (Cape Town: 2016). In 2017 the artist was invited to participate in the Ce La Lune Residency in Italy. Swinney’s first solo exhibition, titled Ignis Fatuus, was presented by WHATIFTHEWORLD (Cape Town).
Human Nature (2018) at Zeitz MOCAA marked Swinney’s first solo exhibition at a museum.