NEWS: Tony Swain @ BALTIC, Gateshead | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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We live in an age which is increasingly focused on the present moment: snapchatting, selfie-taking, always ready to summarise the moment instantaneously in 148 characters, we are swamped by an ever increasing amount of printed and digital ephemera. The 21st century preoccupation with the “now” seems to leave little time for reflection and for permanence. Against this backdrop of an image-saturated and image-obsessed society, Tony Swain’s work is a timely reminder of the possibility for art in the most transient of materials.

In Swain’s hands, newspaper images are either adapted, incorporated or outright obliterated to create art works pieced together from broadsheets and a restricted range of materials, including acrylics, which are then fixed directly onto the gallery walls. The focus, Swain says, of a newspaper is now; “it is a medium that is intended for little more than a cursory glance.” Swain’s works try to “unearth aspects that might be of more permanent interest and to refocus attention on them,” unifying contrasting and juxtapositional images found in print media into a singular, plausible image. Swain’s forthcoming exhibition Undetailed Progress at the Baltic sees his most recent work, which furthers the exploration of landscape and ephemerality found in his earlier works, come to Tyneside.

Tony Swain’s Undetailed Progress comes to BALTIC, Gateshead from Saturday 7th March until Sunday 12th July.

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