Implements & Offcuts


Debra Swann is a studio-based practitioner who has adopted the persona of scientist, explorer and philanthropist. Working in sculpture and photography Swann often makes objects she can wear or use in a performative manner. These objects present themselves as possible artefacts or specimens; they are gadgets, adornments or trophies she has collected through the act of making. Acting as props, the objects imply function and substantiate the fabrication of myth or an inferred narratives.  Using organic fibres found within the landscape to create these beings helps to provide the specimens with a sense of 'realness'. Yet, although they are convincing, there is a point at which the work reveals itself as a hoax. The work begins to collapse through the realisation that the objects are constructed from everyday mundane materials. The transformation of the materials is an important aspect of the work, setting up a tension between what we believe we are looking at and the prosaic everyday. Sometimes commenting on the domestic or private space, Swann uses materials found around her such as elastic bands, brown paper, greaseproof paper, Selotape, parcel tape and dried plants.  Based in a need to escape, our fascination for the unexplained blurs the relationship between fact and fiction. Appealing to our own curiosity the work sets up a strange relationship where fantasy draws on reality and creates a strange authenticity and value, in turn, questioning our belief systems and the process by which history is written and established as truth.

Debra Swann received her MA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College in 2001. Over the last 10 years she has shown her work internationally including galleries in London, Nottingham, Cardiff, Zurich, Geneva and Sydney. Swann has participated in numerous residencies at such locations including Tether in Nottingham, Artspace in Australia, Coleman Project Space in London, Brazier's International Artists Workshop in Oxfordshire and at the Ecole Cantonale D'art du Valais in Switzerland. She currently is a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University and lives in Nottingham.

Newly produced for the Broadcaster Boards Implements & Offcuts is a two-part piece in Waddington and Wellingore.  The work in Wellingore is made from steel, wood, string, paper and found objects. In Waddington, plants, paper, elastic bands, and cardboard.

Debra Swann : Summer 2011