About the Artist

Marian Switzer is a photographer/painter from Kitchener, Ontario. She graduated from the University of Guelph with an honours degree in Fine Arts in 2004. In 2003, she spent a semester abroad in India where she attended the University of Rajasthan and was mentored by Dr. Rekha Bhatnagar in the traditions of miniature painting and traditional folk design. In 2005 she moved to Edmonton, Alberta, and in 2008 she left to travel Europe until 2010. Since arriving back in Edmonton she has received an EAC project grant for an upcoming photo based project, and has also gained representation with Feral Fine Arts.

Switzer’s paintings attempt to offer hints at objects that can constitute ideas between abstract and representational. Colour and shape are the base of the paintings. The intentional choice of colour and placement of each circle manipulates the two-dimensional representation of foreground/background; the idea of place and space is skewed. The arrangement of repetitive shape possesses an ephemeral familiarity that engages the viewer and attempt to create a narrative. A dot or circle can represent a number of things: place, population, energy, space, and object. It is the hope that these paintings shift and change as the viewer is observing. From something concrete to something whimsical, something industrial to something biological.

Switzer's photographic work is an investigation of notions of 'truth' through the filters of time, place, and presence. She uses primarily film-based photographic processes, in order to exploit the limitations inherent to the media; images can only be altered so much in the darkroom, and this at least partially constrains the photographer's ability to manipulate the viewer's subjective response. She feels she has a responsibility to capture a moment in time and preserve it as honestly as possible. The photograph thus serves as an artifact that references a set of presences - objects, people, places - that existed but can never exist again in precisely the same way. This opens up the potential for multiple 'readings' of the photograph and its content on the part of the viewer, and allows for the exposure and exploration of varying degrees and types of "truth" in each image.

Aside from being a working artist, Switzer is also a certified picture framer. She has also taught classes in drawing, painting, and picture framing and was a freelance writer for Alternative Trends Magazine. She has returned to Edmonton, Alberta after spending nearly two years working and traveling throughout Europe.