We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

🛈 Find out what you need to know before visiting


Red leaf, from the series Neo Eden



Juliana Swatko

United States of America, Australia

1952 –

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    type C photograph
    50.7 x 40.2 cm image / sheet
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Gift of the artist 1999
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Juliana Swatko

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Juliana Swatko

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Juiliana Swatko works with alternative processes challenging and redefining the limits of the photographic image. Exploring antiquated and unconventional techniques, including cyanotype printing, hand coloured and electrostatic imaging, thermal printing and, more recently, lomographic photography combined with digitally manipulated superimposition, she produces complex images that relinquish the premise of straight representation. Employing plants and other natural elements as its primary subject matter, a lot of her photographic work treads the line between abstraction and figuration, producing unrecognizable forms from commonplace botanic life.

    In her 1998 series ‘Neo Eden’ Swatko produced type C photographs that impose a visual and tonal intensity on otherwise neutral natural forms. Leaves become saturated in lurid hues, pulling away from their connection to the real. Her compositions are dense webs of colour and form. In the shallow space of the image, enlarged fragments of foliage are pockmarked by planes of colour that look like dappled light. Producing these work by using photographic masks and combinations of colour and black and white negatives, Swatko manipulates the legibility of the image and gives these natural forms a stroboscopic forcefulness.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

    • Neo Eden, Stills Gallery, Paddington, 05 Aug 1998–05 Sep 1998

    • Magical realism, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 Feb 2006–02 Apr 2006

Other works by Juliana Swatko

See all 18 works