Dancer and painter Carrie Swim combines these two art forms to explore the theme of “Dancing” from John 10 and Zephaniah 3, resulting in her works "Known" and "Over-turn." Due to the physical nature of Carrie’s process, she has included video of their creation.
Known, Held Release and Follow
Over-turn, final moment
Known, Held Release and Follow
Artist Curated by
Jerusalem's Sin and Redemption
1 Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! 2 She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the Lord; she drew not near to her God. 3 Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow. 4 Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. 5 The just Lordis in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.
6 I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste, that none passeth by: their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant. 7 I said, Surely, thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.
8 Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.
9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. 10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.
11 In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. 12 I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. 13 The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
14 Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. 15 The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. 16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. 17 The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. 18 I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. 19 Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. 20 At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.
The Parable of the Sheepfold
1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers. 6 This parable spake Jesus unto them; but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
Jesus the Good Shepherd
7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12 But he that is a hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold,and one shepherd. 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. 20 And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? 21 Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?
Jesus Rejected by the Jews
22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. 24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one.
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. 34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken; 36 say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? 37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works; that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
39 Therefore they sought again to take him; but he escaped out of their hand, 40 and went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. 41 And many resorted unto him and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true. 42 And many believed on him there.
Where the creative process harbors listening and response, I involve every element of my art making practice. For the last year and a half I have found an important and even necessary relationship between dance and painting. I found I could not truly understand or explore the content of my work without participating in both forms. Thus, I combined forms of dance and lyrical abstract painting to enter into moments of intentional engagement with points of reality, question, and petition. My body becomes like a brush pushing through paint that establishes form with movement and contact to surface of the floor and canvas. Movement with my body awakens the reality of my position in the room and relationship with myself and other things around and within me. As I carry paint onto the canvas the marks have a similar effect within the stage of the canvas that testify to the movement that established them. With each movement I seek to move in the rhythm of God’s heart that I seek and my own heart that seeks His face. I try to position myself to best hear more than speak that any visual word in movement and stroke would be the fruit of actual contact with truth and God’s presence.
An example of this listening process can be seen in an excerpt of my description from my "Over-turn" piece.
…Two marks that looked like marks of breath and opening became wings of song covering and victory…where in between something solid rests yet pours and like the Shepherd gathers marks of green and purple circling around stones laid. My body and the marks listen to the pouring, lifting, each other, and invisible forms that emerge in their dance look like stones. They are stones of the testimony of God’s faithfulness and/or perhaps the walls of Jerusalem.
Carrie Swim‘s work reveals a special sensitivity to breath, space, and dimensions of the living and dyeing that mandates the use of her body like a tool along with the brush. Here, in realms that flow in and out of tradition into lyrical-abstraction, she describes form and experience of the seen and unseen to touch and breath through revealed moments of difficult and beautiful truth. The genesis of her creative processes unfolded in early years of her home city Houston, Tx . There, in her residence of 24 years there, the time was marked with international and spiritual experiences with embodied truth that she finds weaving and unraveling the marks, breath, and motion of our beings. This ignited the explorations and depth of her work.
She attained her BFA in painting from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, studying primarily under Karl Umlauf and Berry Klingman. She enjoyed exhibiting in a variety of shows and was able to continue her international experiences studying painting and drawing in Florence, Italy for the summer of 2008. She lead teams in India and Mexico and served in China and Kenya as well. She obtained her terminal MFA in May 2012 from the University of Kansas studying primarily under Judith McCrea, Norman Achers, and Maria Velasco; continuing to travel and display work in the Kansas City and Lawrence area and currently shows work in Houston, Tx, Lawrence, Kansas, and Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.
Her travels of place and expression led her to her current residence in East Harlem, New York City where she engages her tools in moments of surprise in realities and questions that press and break through to canvas and skin and new movements that open possibilities of composition and meaning within space and form.