Contemporary Art

including the Property of a Collector

6:00pm Sat 15 Feb 2020


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Lot 3

South African 1992-
The Arboretum
oil on tracing paper
212 by 184cm

Swinney’s work responds to the physical, virtual, and spiritual worlds around her. If art is to imitate life, then art, as Swinney’s paintings are, is a copy of a copy – leading us, again, towards illusion, rather than reality. Swinney engages with Plato’s philosophy of art, which describes the physical world as an imperfect and decaying copy of a perfect, eternal changeless original. This reverts back to the tensions made tangible by Swinney between unreal and hyper-real natural environments, such as aquariums, greenhouses, and botanical gardens. She depicts nature through illustrating the hyper-natural in a dream-like fog, defamiliarising it almost in an attempt to familiarise us with it: to make us feel what nature has been or could be.1

1. Lindsay Raymond (2019) Ruby Swinney: Hold Still. Cape Town, WHATIFTHEWORLD.

WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town Art Fair, 17 to 19 February 2017.

Estimate: R 40 000 - 60 000 

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