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Jen Swearington
South Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2020

I am a mid-career artist who relocated from the mountains of Western North Carolina to the tidal marshlands of outer James Island in March 2020. Pre-COVID, I traveled to twelve countries for four international, month-long art residencies in Bulgaria, Mexico, Greece and Finland and back home again while processing the heartbreaking end of my 17-year marriage. Through this devastating and revelatory experience, I have created a collection of illustrated carousel books by folding and gluing card stock, drawing in pen and cutting with an x-acto knife, and layering them together to compose personal stories. Each book, meticulously crafted in four layers and five panels in collage hard covers, documents a wondrous moment of insight in this turbulent chapter of my life. My work documents time and place, both internal and geographical, whether at home or abroad.

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