Ruby Swinney (b. 1992) is a painter who works primarily with oil on silk and oil on tracing paper. She uses vibrant monochromatic colour to find form, employing painting as a medium not only for image-making but also world-making. Her work transcends into a parallel world where strangely obscured and distorted figures inhabit timeless landscapes. These surreal and immersive recreations of natural environments depict the precariousness of human existence within these. In doing so, Swinney’s paintings evoke our present uncertainties and our yearning for a vanishing natural world that is growing darker and more unfamiliar.
Since graduating from the Michaelis School of Fine Arts in 2015, Swinney has hosted two solo exhibitions with WHATIFTHEWORLD: Hold Still in 2019 and Ignis Fatuus in 2017. She has also held her solo exhibition Human Nature at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Arts Africa (MOCAA), in Cape Town. In May 2021, she hosted a solo exhibition with AKINCI Gallery in Amsterdam, where in 2018 she formed part of the group show, Let’s Talk about Nature.
Ruby Swinney’s work forms part of various private and public collections, including the Zeitz MOCAA collection and the Colleción SOLO Museum. She currently lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.