about Sylvia Schwenk
Sylvia Schwenk creates community.
Sylvia creates new perspectives of the everyday and the familiar that break down barriers. Her practice looks at the relationship between performance and the everyday, reflecting upon the significance and beauty of commonplace activities and spaces.
Themes of community and communication run through Sylvia’s practice, which unites art with social considerations. She works closely with communities in projects that explore local issues, creating works of art that are both context-responsive and universal in their presentation.
Sylvia is a multi-disciplinary artist. Sometimes she creates works which focus on inter-human relational practices that emphasise collaboration, dialogue and audience activation. Other times she captures a moment, space or action with photographs, films, text and/or installations.
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. Her short films are exhibited and screened internationally. Her works of socially engaged performance art are performed in everyday situations in spaces as diverse as prisons, Naval bases, football grand finals, public transport, model airplane fields and art institutions. 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.