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Tanner Gilliland-Swetland



MFA 2019

I am currently an MFA candidate at UCSD, specializing in Sculpture. I completed an MA in Sculpture at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) in 2016, and a BA in Political Science with a Minor in Art in 2013. While pursuing my MA I worked as both a Graduate Assistant in the Sculpture Department at CSUN, as well as a Student Assistant in CSUN’s Special Collections and Urban Archives. My educational background coupled with personal experiences shaped by summer-times spent in Northern Ireland with family, and the rest of the year around various Los Angeles neighborhoods, have had a major influence on the themes of my work.

At the core of my work is the question, what constitutes a community? My interdisciplinary practice, centered around three-dimensional object making, often uses forms that reference minimalism, urban design, and do-it-yourself construction. I am interested in the roles that objects and materials can play in facilitating critical dialogue about socio-cultural values through interactive engagement with my work. I address the potential of public spaces to serve and restrict behaviors of communities. Recurring themes include individualism versus shared collective experiences, and the question of how one confronts one’s environment and its inhabitants, with a focus on the physicality of boundaries between the “home” as the place of self and the “exterior” as the place of the other. Many of the works are scaled to the physical dimensions of my body, serving as a surrogate for the self, and alluding to the relationship between the maker and the audience.

Instagram: giltan22