Textile artist Michaela Swan comes home to showcase art in as an artist in residency at the Glasshouse

EXPERIMENTATION: Michaela exploring textures during her residency at the Glasshouse. Photo: Laura Telford
EXPERIMENTATION: Michaela exploring textures during her residency at the Glasshouse. Photo: Laura Telford

Growing up in Laurieton, art was always apart of Michaela Swan’s life, and coming back to be Artist in Residence at the Glasshouse in October, she says is a very special opportunity.

“Being able to come back and be in residency at the Glasshouse is very special, It means I can reflect on the journey I have taken since I relocated to Newcastle in 2012, and take the time to conceptualise some of my ideas, which is really valuable, ” Ms Swan said.

Ms Swan works with textiles and said she is passionate about exploring how to repurpose materials to provoke emotions from an audience.

“I love working with textiles because people have relationships with textiles; when I use linen or clothes and people see them in an exhibition, they can be reminded of memories or smells from another time in their life,” she said.

“A big part of my work, in the initial designing stage, which I see as important, is exploring how the audience will interact with my work.

“I don’t really draw during my planning, but I think about the space I will be using and experiment with the textiles I will use.” 

Ms Swan said that her work has also been shaped by other cultures.

“Exploring how materials can be used for other purposes, and applied to non traditional objects to create juxtapositions or paradoxes between materials and concepts, is something my work focuses on.

“I also really like the idea of using traditional methods to create things in new contexts,” she said.

SEWING: Michaela enjoys working with materials and re-purposing them in inventive ways. Photo: Laura Telford

SEWING: Michaela enjoys working with materials and re-purposing them in inventive ways. Photo: Laura Telford

Since graduating university in Newcastle, Ms Swan has had a number of exhibitions, but coming home she said is always something else.

“Exhibiting at the Glasshouse is something I have wanted to do for a long time,” she said.

“Growing up and going to Camden Haven High, I had these dreams of becoming an artist, and to be able to show that I have achieved what I set out to do is special.

“Some of my favourite art teachers still live in Laurieton, so for them to potentially be able to come and see my work is exciting.”

Ms Swan’s exhibition will be on display at the Glasshouse in March and April 2018.

“I am so grateful to the Glasshouse for the opportunity, it really is a dream come true when you look at the kinds of renowned artists that have had exhibitions here, and think that I will be among them as well.”