Hot on the heels of the recent opening of her Fata Morgana solo show at Galerie L.J. in Paris, Swoon (interviewed) made a trip to London last week. AM had the pleasure of spending some time with the artist over a couple of days while she prepared a site-specific installation at Black Rat Projects for Small Acts of Resistance, a group show that will also feature works by Peter Kennard, Dotmasters, Matt Small (interviewed), Know Hope, and Armsrock (interviewed). The exhibition’s title references the recently-published book by Steve Crawshaw and John Jackson, Small Acts of Resistance: How Courage, Tenacity, and Ingenuity Can Change the World — a collection of more than eighty stories from around the globe celebrating the courage and resilience of the human spirit.

There was a comforting atmosphere of both serenity and organised chaos reigning at the gallery as Swoon cut, tore, drew, painted and pasted. One highlight for AM was listening to the artist discuss her recent work in post-earthquake Haiti on Konbit Shelter, a sustainable building project in the village of Barrier Jeudi. We were pleased to hear that she and her team will be making a return trip to Haiti next month to continue their efforts.

See Swoon’s finished installation and works by the five other artists at Black Rat Projects as from this Thursday, November 4th. More work-in-progress photos and commentary after the jump.

Different cups and containers were littered around the gallery — some filled with beverages like coffee and juice, some with paint and other liquids not necessarily intended for human consumption. We couldn’t help but feel slightly worried that there was an unfortunate accident just waiting to happen here, especially for a sleep-deprived artist. We then came to the separate and somewhat embarrassing conclusion that our concern about health and safety was a clear indication we were now officially old.

"No, don't smile."

"Okay, never mind."

Among the art supplies, we couldn’t help but notice Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals by John Gray lying on the floor. Aside from its intriguing cover, the fact Swoon was currently reading this book somehow made it more appealing. AM was initially going to order a copy immediately, but then felt a certain unease about whether this was appropriate. Although we’re not even sure if there is such a thing as literary stalking, we decided to play it safe and wait six months before buying the book.

Text and photographs by Patrick Nguyen.
Discuss Swoon here.