Oil on board
42 x 59 cm
Between Sheets is an online show of selected works by Beth Swan. Painting from a woman’s perspective through a bisexual lens, Swan celebrates female and non-binary bodies within their private spaces, granting voice to anxieties and revealing what the heteronormative male gaze cannot reach.
Fuelled by the subversive relationship with her body and identity, Swan plays with the idea of to-be-looked-at-ness. Inspired by insights into strangers’ domestic residences whilst scrolling through the dating app Tinder, Swan becomes the voyeur and reclaims agency through the power of looking, but returns to the subject again by representing her truths, apprehensions, and vulnerabilities. Offering her diary entries, Swan gives an intimate insight into her daily life.
Through gestural mark and layers of colour, a sense of longing and melancholy is played on. Confronted with unbroken eye contact as seen in Because I Said So, the subject recognises our intrusion as viewers, whilst other figures remain unscathed demonstrated in A Light. The paintings are reminiscent of the world’s retreat to the confines of the home through recent lockdowns, tributing the prolonged periods of functioning around our beds. Representing a haven, Swan can exist naturally without the threat of an onlooking sexualising gaze, finding comfort within the sheets. The bedsheet motif more solemnly brings light to the ‘otherness’ felt through false societal assumptions of her ‘promiscuous’ sexuality commenting on feelings of alienation.
Between two polarities of heterosexual and homosexual, forever ‘on the fence’ and ‘undecided’, and conflictingly, Between Sheets.
2018-2021 BA Hons Fine Art: Painting, University of Brighton
2016-2017 Foundation Diploma Art and Design (Distinction), University of Bournemouth
2021 Upcoming: FUSE (Curator)
2020 Face to Face
2019 Painting Festival 01
2017 University of Bournemouth Foundation Show
2021 HAUS A REST Zine Issue 14 – The Queer Art Issue
2021 Graduates 2021 Blog: Beth Swan: Fine Art Painting
2021 HAUS A REST Zine Issue 14 – Queer Art Writers