Nien Schwarz is a multidisciplinary visual artist based near Fremantle, Western Australia. She retired recently from teaching sculpture and environmental art at Edith Cowan University in Perth.
For four decades Nien Schwarz has participated in remote geoscience mapping expeditions, first with the Geological Survey Precambrian Division across Canada’s arctic (1981-92) and in Western Australia since 1993.
Related studio research includes our global collective dependency on natural resources and the demand for more. Through fieldwork methodologies and a multidisciplinary arts practice Nien responds to the ground beneath her feet, particularly sites associated with mining, agriculture, urban encroachment and histories of colonisation. Her artworks intend to prompt questions about where we are, who we are, and what sustains us.
Nien Schwarz creates site-specific indoor and outdoor commissions, sculptural assemblages and hand-built ceramics, mineral paintings, digital prints and video, collage, hand woven textiles and activist garments. Many artworks incorporate the material essence of place, including hand collected and prepared earth pigments and botanical matter including natural dyes. She’s a member of the artist collective We Must Get Together Some Time.
Vice President, Ceramic Arts Association of Western Australia (CAAWA)
National Artistic Advisory Committee, Sculpture by the Sea (2016 – )