Robyn Sweaney | Fade to Blue

Snapshots of the everyday preoccupy Robyn Sweaney’s paintings. Travelling through the Australian urban landscape she captures scenes of daily life, pausing it in a point of flux. She finds beauty in the suburban.


In her latest exhibition Fade to blue Sweaney presents a series of works that explore the colour blue, and its emotive ties to the human psyche. Discussing the reflective and melancholy series, she states, “There’s a lot of blue. These paintings are about times past and the promise of a slowing down in the future; the anticipation, a longing, sunlight and shadows, clear skies and crisp, fresh mornings – a time for contemplation.”

Memory and a sense of passing time are embedded in her work, with the artist responding to her past and present experiences of the urban landscapes. “Many of the summers of my youth were spent in a simple beach cottage built from cheap materials and decorated with what we had collected from the seashore. It was a home away from home, family and friends, no TV and long days on the beach. My memories are of a time unencumbered, free and seemingly endless.”

From the classic fibro shack to a more ‘grander’ development, she is not limited to one style of house. Rather Sweaney is drawn to the character of a building, and its role in the Australian cultural landscape. In Fade to Blue she focuses upon coastal houses, exploring their intertwined connection to the colour blue. “Glimpsed amidst the trees or set behind lawns that are a little untidier than the manicured front gardens of the suburbs, many of these houses have been painted in differing shades of blue, softened by years of harsh sunlight,” she states. “And invariably, the sea has inspired their names and those of the streets; Pacific Breeze, Sea of Dreams, Beachcomber, Seagull Avenue…”

Whilst the quiet houses could seem to slip past without acknowledgement, Sweaney’s careful selection results in an exhibition of summer memories of coastal towns. The careful detailing of the buildings, and her eye for geometric buildings, results in the once unremarkable houses being seen in a new light.

On a personal level,” she muses, “these places trigger an emotional response, a reminiscing that is a mixture of pleasure with a hint of sadness and longing. In the stillness of winter I am thinking of summer.”

Opening Saturday 12 November, join Sweaney to reflect on the blue hues of summer.

Robyn Sweaney | Fade to blue
12 November – 26 November
Anthea Polson Art

Courtesy the artist and Anthea Polson Art.


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