Heather B. Swann has established a formidable reputation as a maker of sculptural objects and ink drawings of dark, sensual and fantastic presence. With influences ranging widely across themes and imagery drawn from museum culture, history, mythology and natural science, Swann works outwards from the poetics of intimate sensation, emotion and thought. She is closely engaged with both the eternal present of perception and her own world of feeling, as well as making allusion to the particular crises of our troubled times. Her project is the translation of such fleeting phenomenological observations into form. Swann’s figurative reflexes often produce images of human or animal bodies, semblances of life kinked by surrealist convulsion and an instinct for abstraction.

Swann has been making art for more than twenty years, mostly drawings and sculptures, although in more recent years her practice has expanded to incorporate painting, video, installation and performance. In addition to presenting more than twenty solo shows since 1993, Heather has had work included in numerous significant curated group exhibitions, including Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2021); Magic Object: Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2016); and Streetwise: contemporary print culture, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2015). Her work is held in many private and public collections. In 2022, Swann was commissioned, in collaboration with Nonda Katsalidis, to create a permanent public artwork for the Setouchi Triennale, Japan.