Jordan Sweke is an independent South African painter and photographer from Johannesburg, currently based in Cape Town. Sweke’s practice is concerned with an extensive and ongoing exploration of oil paint as a medium. His work is primarily influenced by the connection between humans and the natural world and focuses on natural South African landscapes and indigenous wildlife. All of Sweke’s reference photography is captured by the artist himself. Sweke’s main concerns are to bring immersive natural landscapes into urban spaces and to urge the public to re-connect with their natural heritage. In 2014, Sweke received an Honours degree in Fine Art, specialising in painting, from Michaelis School of Fine Art. Every piece at his graduate exhibition was sold. Recently out of university, Sweke has received strong support from both local and international collectors. In 2015, Sweke has exhibited works at the Cape Town Art Fair, under the banner of Everard Read, Cape Town as well as being included in a group show at Everard Read, Cape Town in April, entitled “EMPIRE”. This show included work by internationally renowned local artists, Willem Boshoff and Dylan Lewis. Sweke is set to be involved in several more group shows in 2015 before his first solo show early in 2016.
“‘Nature’ is a problematic word. We understand it to be something other than ourselves. Through my work, I strive to re-align notions of nature and self. Detachment from nature corrodes the disposition of our interactions with the environment. This relationship needs to be reconstituted. Paint allows for a visual agency that I believe many other artistic media cannot offer. A tactile emphasis on materiality is helpful in breaking illusions and revealing certain truths, while scale assists access to the sublime. My work explores notions of both the mathematical and the abstract; a marriage of the geometric and the organic. Informed by counter intuitive outcomes of scientific theories, such as quantum mechanics, I strive to represent and distort reality through the interrogation of the relationship between spatial perceptions and numerical patterns. As well as initiating a dialogue regarding instinct and consciousness as apparently opposing binaries, each piece in my current body of work serves to create an accumulative conversation between the peaceful and the dreadful, the holy and the tainted.”