Gloria C. Swain

January 16, 2020 to March 14, 2020
Curated by: Alyssa Fearon
Main Gallery


Opening Reception: Thursday, January 16, 7:30 PM

This Too Shall Pass is a series of textured and abstract paintings on canvas by multimedia artist, mental health and ageism advocate, Gloria C. Swain. Swain’s canvases embody her experiences as an aging Black woman moving through hostile spaces, particularly mental healthcare institutions; and the labour involved with “cutting through and getting cut by” the system. The geometric patterns in Swain’s work illustrate the range of movement associated with the process—sharp edges colliding, shattering and realigning— and allude to the ways that oppressed groups might eventually break through. The project offers space to reflect on the hope, perseverance, and unapologetic reclaiming of place as Swain, a mother, grandmother, community leader, elder and artist, strives to be seen and heard.

  • Alt

Gloria C. Swain, No Single Issue #4, 2019. Acrylic paint on canvas, 16” x 20”.

Artist Biography:

Gloria C. Swain is a multidisciplinary Black female artist, social justice activist, researcher, seniors’ rights and Black mental health advocate and writer. Swain works within the mediums of installation, painting, performance and photography to challenge systemic oppression against Black women and trans folks. Her work explores and connects past traumas of slavery to ongoing colonial violence and Black mental health. In 2016, she was the artist-in-residence at Tangled Art + Disability. Swain holds a certificate in Community Arts Practice and a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from York University.