Julianne Swartz

(Born 1967 in Phoenix, AZ; Lives and works in Stone Ridge, NY)

One of my primary endeavors is to bring some kind of altering experience to the viewer. I don’t think I would have called it healing a while ago although now it’s more comfortable for me to embrace that term. In the past I used terms like presence, building presence or activating senses. I may have used different terminology for it but there was always that commitment to it.

There’s a poet named Charles Olson who wrote a book about the poetic process and it talks about the energy that is in the gesture. The poet has emotion, the poet has experience and the poet puts the energy of that experience into words and the words carry that energy to the reader. He’s talking about an energetic transmission but I see it as a physical transition of energy as of materiality and power.

I think inadvertently drawing is a foundation of my practice. It’s also a really foreign skill. I never in my life took a drawing class. If you asked me to draw or render something I couldn’t do it. I have many, probably 30 sketchbooks that I’ve kept since 1993. I’ve kept sketchbooks where I used drawing to kind of translate thoughts. So I always feel drawing is the mechanism to get the thought towards materialization. If you think about it, it’s a way to harness thoughts and ideas that are very ephemeral, like smoke, in the aether realm.

–Conversation on July 17, 2020

Listen to our conversation here:


Selected Image from the Collection:


Swartz, Julianne, Stretching Drawing #7, 2012, Rock and paper on wood, Overall: 8 x 6 1/2 x 4 in.