My work is woven in history and the figurative act of brushing aside pieces of loose soil to expose artifacts of symbolic truth, memory, and wonder. I embrace anthropological tools to ground my explorations, revealing carefully carved clay artifacts and sculptural resemblances of the natural world. In Homage, blackened ceramic mimics burnt wood in a bed of fallen leaves. In Stress, the smooth ceramic body is restricted by black vines oozing sugary liquid and contained in an endless reflection of itself, isolated and shamed. In Placelessness, questioned concepts of site and non-site are stacked within archival boxes, housing a haphazard, and forgotten excavation that perpetuates the history of white privilege in archaeology, art, and museums. The Dream Series explored new sculptural techniques in wet clay and what it means to turn a mental image or dream into reality.
In light of the pandemic, I have taken a step back from ceramic art for the time being. My recent art ventures have been in the world of violin making as I work for a picture framing and gallery company.
Kittara Marina McSwiney was born in 1998 in Fairbanks, AK. Throughout her life, McSwiney has been infatuated with capturing the natural world and questioning the role of humanity. Naturally, she was drawn to sculpture and ceramics as a means of replicating nature and pursued archaeology with fervor. These interests were cultivated by her academic pursuits at the University of Oregon, where she completed her Bachelor of Science in both Art and Anthropology in 2020.
While completing her degree, McSwiney explored exhibition design and art conservation practices through an internship with the Preparatory Department at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. These experiences fostered an interest in installation and McSwiney has been involved in various exhibitions including 4’4’∞’ at LaVerne Krause Gallery and “Spring Storm” at the School of Art + Design, Eugene, OR.
Kittara currently lives and works in Eugene, OR for Vistra Framing & Gallery while learning to make a violin in her free time.