By Alfonso Arnold
Every month, Boulevard sends pho-tographer and chief Alfonso Ar-nold to scan our wonderful city to fi nd true and passionate artists to interview, snap, and feature. This month, Alfonso visits and chats with human body expert and sculptor Danielle Swift, at her studio!
Boulevard: Welcome to the Spotlight Danielle! Can you share a little bit about who you are and what you do? Danielle:
Absolutely, I’m a sculptor working out of East Vancouver. I studied Fine Arts at the Univer- sity of the Fraser Valley before getting a position with my longtime mentor, David Robinson. It was during that time, around 2006, that I set up my fi rst studio here at 1000 Parker St. I began working full time out of my studio about 5 or 6 years ago. I do contract and commission work as well as creat-ing one of a kind, large scale fi gurative sculptures.
Boulevard: What you do is quite labor intensive. How important is it to be in the right space and environment to create human sized and even larger art? Danielle:
Logistically? It is incredibly important. As you probably noticed I have very high ceilings and quite a bit of open space which allows me to work on a relatively large scale. I require a fair amount of space both for working in and storing materials, moulds, tools and etcetera. I spend more time in this studio than anywhere else and can’t imagine life without it.
Boulevard: Some of your works reference your own body shape or expression. Is there a partic- ular reason or message why other than for con-venience? Danielle:
That question has more than one answer. First, I’ve had a fascination with life casting since I was a child so I’ll often incorporate at least one E piece hat has been cast off me directly, kind of like a signature. I also try to use dynamic poses that play with tension. By holding these poses myself I can really feel which muscle groups are working hardest which is important to understand during the sculpting phase. Lastly, and probably the most complex or abstract reason is the ongoing search for a deeper understanding of the self.
Boulevard: Finally…What can we expect in your evolving world of human form and creation? Danielle:
My most recent pieces have just begun to touch on my admiration and fascination with nature and how we are tethered to it. I expect that will continue to evolve and that natural elements will begin to play a more substantial role in future pieces. I believe many people have been feeling increasingly disconnected to the natural world which leads to a certain discomfort or uneasiness. I’d like to explore that connection and disconnect further.
Thank you for taking the time to chat, and for the wonderful experience Danielle! To learn more about Danielle Swift and her extraordinary work, please visit: