Swahaama at work in her studio

The annual "Battle of the Brushes" contest in Alliston, Ontario

The annual "Battle of the Brushes" contest in Alliston, Ontario

 

Tracey "Swahaama" Sinclair

"Hello, I’m Swahaama aka Tracey Sinclair… an unusual name, which was given to me many years ago whilst on a Vision Quest through shamanism. Sometimes being alone, cold, wet and hungry will allow ones inner voice to speak clearly and tell you who you really are as a human being and what you’re really supposed to be doing in this wonderful experience called life."

Swahaama refers to herself as “a Brit chick” coming from the tough north-eastern region of the UK, an area of gritty black coal mines and scrapyards filled with rusting ships. She spent her formative years in England at the Cleveland Collage of Art and Design (CCAD) in Hartlepool, UK, earning a BA in Fine Art and becoming a sought-after artist who produced prodigious room-size works often twenty by thirty feet in size.  “But my work had a very lean ‘draftsman’ quality to it – very precise and not at all natural or feminine or spiritual. And so I eventually put it all aside and went searching elsewhere for a more natural and organic life.”

Swahaama travelled, and lived for several years in a small village north of Hong Kong in the Sha Tau Kok new territories. She would spend her days working with the local women and learning to speak Cantonese (plus all the filthiest word phrases imaginable in that language).

Her long search eventually brought her and her family to Canada. “Art is a way of life to me; it’s what I understand and likewise is my comrade in expressing my emotions both energetically and visually. I came to Canada when I was 25 with a young family, so painting in those days was tough.”

While her three girls are her life, she found some time to sketch and allow her inner visions to come out and take her artwork in a new direction.  “Being a shamanic practitioner provided me with a vehicle to explore the realm of Spirit, spending time listening to my soul like I never could before.”

"Over the years the fire in my heart to physically propel my journeys and visions has become a must in my daily life onto a surface that can hold paint."

Her “tools of the trade” include everything from exotic gel mediums from Italy that move and flow with a life of their own, to regular brushwork, down to tiny toothpicks to do the minute detail in her work. Anything can be used to help create art – from gobs of paint smeared over her palms and fingers, to sponges and traditional art tools used in an unusual manner in order to "open up the image." The results speak for themselves: people are awestruck with both the visionary quality and technical complexity of her work. Reviewers have described the quality of her work as including the brilliance of church window stained glass and a depth of field like looking out from a mountain top vista; the frozen complexity of marble stone mixed with the wind of Spirit. Truly an organic dichotomy of the soul’s often dark and tree-covered earth, mixed with dream-like spiritual fire, never to be seen anywhere else.

Tracey "Swahaama" Sinclair invites you to sit back and enjoy a small peek into her visionary world.

"But please remember: sometimes a tree is not really just a tree."