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Dancer and painter Carrie Swim combines these two art forms to explore the theme of "Dancing" from John 10 and Zephaniah 3, resulting in her works "Known" and "Over-turn." Due to the physical nature of Carrie's process, she has included video of their creation.
Known and Over-turn
Collaborator: Katelyn Creech
Emily Clare Zempel
“Known, Held Release and Follow,” 96 × 48 inches.
“Over-turn,” 68 x 48 inches.
Dance, Oil over Acrylic on Canvas
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Where the creative process harbors listening and response, I involve every element of my art making practice. For the last year and a half I have found an important and even necessary relationship between dance and painting. I found I could not truly understand or explore the content of my work without participating in both forms. Thus, I combined forms of dance and lyrical abstract painting to enter into moments of intentional engagement with points of reality, question, and petition. My body becomes like a brush pushing through paint that establishes form with movement and contact to surface of the floor and canvas. Movement with my body awakens the reality of my position in the room and relationship with myself and other things around and within me. As I carry paint onto the canvas the marks have a similar effect within the stage of the canvas that testify to the movement that established them. With each movement I seek to move in the rhythm of God’s heart that I seek and my own heart that seeks His face. I try to position myself to best hear more than speak that any visual word in movement and stroke would be the fruit of actual contact with truth and God’s presence.
An example of this listening process can be seen in an excerpt of my description from my "Over-turn" piece.
…Two marks that looked like marks of breath and opening became wings of song covering and victory…where in between something solid rests yet pours and like the Shepherd gathers marks of green and purple circling around stones laid. My body and the marks listen to the pouring, lifting, each other, and invisible forms that emerge in their dance look like stones. They are stones of the testimony of God’s faithfulness and/or perhaps the walls of Jerusalem.
The Artist's Reflection
Carrie Swim‘s work reveals a special sensitivity to breath, space, and dimensions of the living and dyeing that mandates the use of her body like a tool along with the brush. Here, in realms that flow in and out of tradition into lyrical-abstraction, she describes form and experience of the seen and unseen to touch and breath through revealed moments of difficult and beautiful truth. The genesis of her creative processes unfolded in early years of her home city Houston, Tx . There, in her residence of 24 years there, the time was marked with international and spiritual experiences with embodied truth that she finds weaving and unraveling the marks, breath, and motion of our beings. This ignited the explorations and depth of her work.
She attained her BFA in painting from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, studying primarily under Karl Umlauf and Berry Klingman. She enjoyed exhibiting in a variety of shows and was able to continue her international experiences studying painting and drawing in Florence, Italy for the summer of 2008. She lead teams in India and Mexico and served in China and Kenya as well. She obtained her terminal MFA in May 2012 from the University of Kansas studying primarily under Judith McCrea, Norman Achers, and Maria Velasco; continuing to travel and display work in the Kansas City and Lawrence area and currently shows work in Houston, Tx, Lawrence, Kansas, and Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.
Her travels of place and expression led her to her current residence in East Harlem, New York City where she engages her tools in moments of surprise in realities and questions that press and break through to canvas and skin and new movements that open possibilities of composition and meaning within space and form.