A self-taught painter, Hepzibah Swinford's subject is flowers. These are not explored within the context of a gardenscape, but imagined into vulptuous arrangements in antique vases and set against a scheme of psychedelic patterns. In all their endless diversity, Swinford's bouquets draw on contrasts of colour and texture, each painting almost synaesthetic in quality.
The daughter of the painter Dora Holzhandler, Swinford grew up between London and Scotland, surrounded by Oriental art. The influence of this, along with her own collection of antique pottery, is felt in her works - her vessels evoke Ming and Meissen, satsuma, cloisonne, cranberry, art deco and the Middle East. These elements are coupled with references to fabric patterns from William Morris to Bauhaus. Each painting is then housed in a reclaimed gilt Old Masters frame.
Never repeating a pattern or an arrangement, Swinford does not begin each painting by making a physical flower arrangement: 'More likely, there'll be a great seasonal explosion of something, and that'll get my attention. I always start with a background colour, and then just put another colour with it, and then another colour. It's quite unconscious really. It's more like archaeology, actually scraping something away to find the painting that's underneath.' - Hepzibah Swinford