Suzanne Swannie

Suzanne Swannie was born in Denmark and has worked for more than four decades as a weaver and textiles designer. After completing an apprenticeship in hand weaving with Kirsten and John Becker, Søllerød, Denmark (1963), she studied Textile Design and Technology at Textilinstitutet, Borås, Sweden (1965) and worked on a commission for famed Danish designer Arne Jacobsen. Swannie immigrated to Canada in 1967 and received her Master of Fine Arts in 1986 from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University), where she taught from 1978 to 1986 and from 1999 to 2003. Her teaching experience includes work for the Newfoundland Department of Education (1967-1969) and at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Maine, USA (1979), the Ontario College of Art (1982), Cabot College (1987-1996) and Bay St George Community College (1987) in Newfoundland & Labrador, and Nunavut Arctic College, Sanikiluak (1997). She has also been an artist in residence at the School of Art & Design, Institut Teknologi Mara, Shah Alam, Malaysia (1995).

Swannie has worked as a design consultant for textile mills in Denmark and Nova Scotia and on contract from 1977 to 1980 for the Department of Indian affairs, Government of Canada, to design and coordinate two major art projects based on traditional Mi’kmaq textiles, executed by women of Eskasoni Indian Reserve, Cape Breton, NS, under the leadership of Margaret Johnson. One project was commissioned for Eskasoni School, a second for the Albert White Gallery, Toronto. She has also produced commissions for the E Margaret Fulton Communication Centre, Mount Saint Vincent University (with Andrew Terris) and for Textil Institutet, Borås, Sweden. She has received grants from the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, The Canada Council for the Arts, the Nova Scotia Arts Council and the Newfoundland & Labrador Arts Council. Her work has appeared in exhibitions at the MSVU Art Gallery at Mount Saint Vincent University (Halifax), The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery (St John’s, NL), the Textile Museum of Canada and Ontario Crafts Council Gallery in Toronto, the Mary E Black Gallery, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and Dalhousie Art Gallery in Halifax, the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Exhibitions

White Canvases: Six Painters Respond to Suzanne Swannie

Suzanne Swannie, Turned Canvas with Three-Line Lattice and 'Kipper' Inlay