Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pop-up Art Show Comes To Morocco

Tangier, Fez and Casablanca are on the schedule of an enterprising (and surprising) couple of artists from very different backgrounds.  The duo, Swales & Sinclair, are expected to pop-up in Fez on the19th and 20th of this month after a visit to Tangier. Their travelling show is called  In the Footsteps of Ibn Batutta.

Founded in Manila in 2008, Swales & Sinclair is an ongoing artistic collaboration between mixed- media, visual artist David Swales and mixed-media artist, singer/songwriter/poet (and former Philippine child music-star) Chanel Sinclair.

They have exhibited in New York City, Manila, Athens, Hurghada and Al 'Uqsur and are about to embark on a schedule of spontaneous, pop-up, neighbourhood exhibitions in Eastern Europe and the Islamic world – exchanging wabi-sabi images between contrasting global, urban contexts and audiences.

If and when we discover where in Fez they will pop-up, we'll let you know. Limited edition prints will be for sale.

Keep an eye out for Swale & Sinclair and show them your support because proceeds from the show will be donated to a local charity, either the local women's shelter or the abandoned girls' home.

WABI-SABI - the art of imperfect beauty

Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It's simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all. Wabi-sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not Pergo; rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet-that our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent.


David Swales was born in West Belfast, where the war- damaged cityscape, vivid political murals and extreme societal traumas left an indelible, primary influence. During a largely diasporic life he has since lived and worked in Europe, Asia, Africa and the U.S. David previously worked at Central St. Martins College of Art under renowned photographer/film-maker Malcolm LeGrice, He also worked in the gem-trade, until an unfortunate robbery at Heathrow Airport compelled him to seek employment in the financial world (in Seoul, London, New York City and Manila). Throughout this period he also had several successful exhibitions, finally leaving the financial world in early 2012 to focus solely on his art.


Chanel Sinclair was born in San Diego, California. Growing up in a multi-lingual, trans-pacific family, Chanel experienced the popular culture of the West Coast while living for large periods in a contrasting rural province of the Philippines. Writing poetry and music in several languages, Chanel has been profoundly influenced by the rich folklore and visual artistic heritage of the Philippines, but also its vast economic disparities. This manifests itself within the work of Swales & Sinclair, especially with written word (woven into the mixed media pieces that the artists construct) and her passion for revealing the hidden beauty of wabi-sabi captured in often poverty-stricken environments of developing-world, urban contexts. Chanel is also exploring the use of the native (but now extinct in terms of common-usage) Philippine script of Alibata within their work.

Chanel in Luxor with street kids

In a time of great political change and increased societal/cultural polarisation, our humble and personal mission as artists is to commit our own resources to help increase global dialogue and understanding.

On a person-by-person basis we hope to achieve this through several art projects where we document wabi-sabi images in contrasting urban environments and transplant or "exchange" them through spontaneous, neighbourhood exhibitions in differing parts of the world.
We especially seek out “typical” neighbourhoods where people may not normally have interaction with the commercial art world or foreign artists. The limited edition prints of our work that we exhibit during these neighbourhood shows are donated to the respective audiences.


No comments: