The Washington Printmakers Gallery presents
WHAT I TELL MYSELF,
January 1-31, 2019.
Reception, Saturday, January 26, 6-9pm.
Printmaking Workshop, Saturday, January 12, 4-6pm.
Cole Swavely’s exhibit What I Tell Myself explores the themes of power, service, narrative, and empathy through printmaking. In his words “My work is intended to be democratic – accessible and capable of fostering discussion at any level, be it conceptual, formal, or historical. My studio practice scratches a certain itch, and my Navy service scratches a different itch. Both practices are related and they inform each other in surprising and mostly productive ways.
Formally, I am primarily concerned with two-dimensional work, for reasons of immediacy and practicality. Chief among my concerns are the balance of positive/negative space, color interplay (interface and overlay), and two-dimensional forms.
Conceptually, I mine personal experiences and historical sources for imagery and text related to my critical concerns, foremost among these being empathy, service, power, and narrative. The tension between being an artist and an active duty servicemember is fertile ground for exploration. I am a leader within a vast and violent bureaucracy-how can I reconcile that with being an artist, and are all artists expected to not participate in violence? I’m not expecting to find answers to these questions any time soon, but I am doing the best I can, for as long as I can.”
Cole Swavely holds a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. He is currently a lieutenant in the United States Navy, stationed in the Washington, D.C. area. Click here to see his Artist’s Page on this website.
Top: Cole Swavely, Keep Moving, 2018, silkscreen collage, 12″ x 12″
Bottom: Cole Swavely, Voices, 2013, silkscreen, 30″ x 22″