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Jan 16, 1998

Gilvano Sawsey art exhibition opens

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He is recognized as one of Belize’s most gifted young artists and as Patrick Jones discovered, Gilvano Swasey’s latest exhibition will not detract from his reputation.

In terms of style, the book has long gone out the window. The colors are brighter and the scenes have more local flavor. “Cross Pollination” is the latest concoction to come out of the Image Factory art lab by artist Gilvano Swasey.

Gilvano Swasey, Artist

“The title of the exhibition is cross pollination. Cross pollination because there is a shift from where I used to be as an artist. Most of my subjects were realistic and most of them were done in acrylic, what we were taught in school.”

Swasey says its time to step ahead of his peers. He’s chosen to go abstract and push his imagination into maximum overdrive to capture his audience’s attention.

Gilvano Swasey

“Cross Pollination is shifting, a complete moving over in a biological sense, self pollination is with one flower, cross pollination is between two and that’s why, I create like a hybrid where I create exactly what I want and not what I learnt from school. This whole shift more into the primary colors because one, primary colors are very vibrant colors. They are rich colors. The yellows, the blues, the red. And I’m getting my audience more connected with where I am going. My first whole exhibition was called “Primary Minds-Secondary Intentions” where part of that was where I was using primary colors but still somehow secondary ones popped up; but now I have basically hit the nail on the head where I could stick with my primary colors and get the effect that I wanted, like blue is cool, red and yellow is warm. So depending on how I used the colors and how I put them together and how much I basically get that feeling out to my audience and they can decide where they want to put it or how they want to look at it.”

And looking at the pieces is made even easier, first by carefully selecting local scenes using more informal subjects and a feminine touch.

Gilvano Swasey

“So what I do now is I take my own pictures, which is much better because basically I get the right setting I want. If there is a street scene and I want no people in the scene I go late in the evening when everybody has gone home or if there is an evening scene where I want the sunset and birds flying across, I go and I take that. And also with abstract stuff its totally from me, so its nothing anyone has seen before. So I create that.

My abstract stuff is completely different from theirs. What I was feeling was completely different from what they were feeling. So I could not copy their style. So whenever I draw I saw that my lines do not go sharp; but they go nice and curve and swirl up and they were contained. They were contained, like my thoughts are contained. They are not just wild and flowing over the place and so I call it feminine because you know the saying, that women are very sensitive and I had to be sensitive if I wanted to be different.

Close to a hundred pieces make up Swasey’s first exhibition since June of 1996. And it debuts his new concept of working with non traditional shapes.

Gilvano Swasey

“At schools and wherever you go you see square canvasses or rectangular stuff where they teach you that like, your world is boxed in, but in a sense the world is round and there is much more flow and I realize that in many of my square stuff, there is a certain edge that I wanted to put unto it and there wasn’t enough space. So with my round canvasses there was always that extra piece at the top and bottom and it gives my mind more space to continue. And I work that unto my abstract pieces too, where on a round canvass you could turn it and wherever you turn it, you get a different feeling, its like a three hundred sixty degree effect. And I did one triangular one too to the experiment and I got the same effect.”

To experience the spirit of the artist’s imagination you can stop by the Factory on North Front Street anytime from now until February sixteenth. Patrick Jones for News Five.

The pieces are on sale and range in price from thirty five to five thousand dollars. In case you were wondering what happened to the Gilvano Swasey we used to know, don’t worry, his annual Bob Marley exhibition is slated to open in late February.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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