about Sylvia Schwenk

Sylvia Schwenk is a multi-disciplinary artist who focuses on perspectives of the everyday by reflecting upon the significance and beauty of commonplace activities and spaces through the medium of performance. Themes of community and communication pervade Sylvia’s practice. Her works unite strangers and celebrate peoples’ differences and similarities. Her projects explore issues that are local yet universal.

One of the biggest challenges of our times is isolation, fear and lack of connection with others. Sylvia breaks down barriers by bringing people together to share new experiences and encourages everyday people to become performers. She captures moments, spaces or actions with photographs, films, as text or presented as installations.

In the last 10 years Sylvia has created more than 30 works of socially engaged and community projects. Over 2,000 people have participated in these works - in everyday situations and spaces as diverse as public areas, prisons, naval bases, football grand finals, public transport, model airplane fields and art institutions - using their bodies to realise the art.

Sylvia is an artist of international standing who performs and exhibits her work in art galleries, international film festivals and spaces in Europe, the USA, Canada, India and Australia. She is the recipient of numerous commissions, awards, grants and scholarships. Her work is held in public and private art collections and her short films are exhibited/screened internationally. Her commissions to create works of performance art include: the Royal Australian Navy (to commemorate the 100th anniversary); Art Fairs (Sydney and Melbourne); Art Month projects (lawns of the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney); and the European Union (on the German and Dutch border).

Sylvia completed her Doctorate at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, Australia. She also studied at the Köln International School of Design and the Universität der Künste Berlin, Germany. She has completed artist residencies with the Künstlerdorf Schöppingen, DE, aadk Blanca, ES, the Academy of the Arts, University of Tasmania, AU, Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney, AU, HMAS Penguin, Sydney, AU, and albb Saigon, VT.

Sylvia also presents conference papers and lectures about her research on performance art and her artistic practice internationally.


Click here to read a profile on Sylvia as featured in Women CineMakers

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