|Name Roger Swainston|
|Full Name Roger Anthony Swainston|
Born 7 May 1960 (1960-05-07) North Cotswold, Gloucestershire, UK
Education University of Western Australia
Books Sea Fishes of Southern Australia: Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers
Known for Painting, Drawing, Illustration, Zoology, Natural history
Swainston s fishes of australia roger swainston
Roger Anthony Swainston, born 7 May 1960, in North Cotswold, Gloucestershire, UK, is an Australian painter, naturalist and zoologist. He is one of the most recognized artists of the underwater world.
- Swainston s fishes of australia roger swainston
- Clipperton Island
- Ningaloo Reefs
- Vanuatu Espiritu Santo Island
- Endeavour Panels
- Hillarys Artworks
- Red Sea Reef
- TV documentaries and reports
- Represented and collected
- Books illustrated
Swainston was raised in the Western Australian outback surrounded by wildlife. The unique Australian flora and fauna fascinated and inspired him from an early age and he has drawn and painted it since childhood. In the late 1970s he travelled and worked around the north coast of Australia on fishing trawlers. The endless variety of undersea life he encountered in their nets encouraged him to undertake further studies and he graduated from the University of Western Australia with a degree in Zoology in 1981.
He then worked in the fish department of the Western Australian Museum and took part in a variety of scientific expeditions. These included surveying the fish fauna of Western Australia's south coast with the Museum, the deepwater fauna off the northwest shelf with CSIRO and the reef fauna of Papua New Guinea with CRI. During this period he also illustrated numerous guidebooks on the identification of fish and other marine life and worked with scientific institutions around the world such as the Smithsonian Institution, United Nations FAO, CSIRO and many museums and government departments concerned with the marine environment.
In 1990 he moved to France and spent several years working from a studio in Paris, where he further diversified and developed his work. Illustrations from this period are held by the Musee National des Arts et Traditions Populaires and the Ministry of the Environment. He is presently the official artist for the Conseil Superieur de la Peche in France. Whilst continuing to provide illustrations for a wide range of clients he began to work on methods of capturing the complexity of marine environments. This led to a documentary being made on Swainston's project, to draw underwater a reef in the Red Sea.
Upon Swainston's return to Australia in 1996 he continued this work on marine environments. His focus became the integration of science and art in a manner that fostered both an appreciation of the extraordinary beauty of the subject and an understanding of its diversity and complexity.
In 1999 he held successful solo exhibitions of his work in Sydney and Fremantle and has since held other successful exhibitions in France, USA and Australia. As a conservationist, Roger has supported ecological projects and research, he works closely with conservation organizations to help protect fishery resources and increase knowledge of marine life.
In recent years Swainston has continued the study of the marine environment with large scale underwater drawings and surveys of reef sites around the world. He has pursued scientific illustration with life size portraits of individual fish, intimate studies of their surface, form and function.
He lives and works in Fremantle, Western Australia, with his partner Catherine and their three children.
In 2005 Swainston spent two months on Clipperton Island in the eastern Pacific to draw the fauna and flora of this isolated and deserted atoll. As the artist for the French scientific expedition surveying the atoll he was commissioned by the Fondation Gaz de France to create five paintings of Clipperton Island.
He also has an ongoing project to survey a range of environments along the Ningaloo Reef and capture them as panoramic underwater scenes, containing all the abundance and diversity to be found there. These will serve as both inspiring works of art and educational tools to help the understanding and preservation of these ecosystems.
Vanuatu - Espiritu Santo Island
In 2006, invited by the Museum of Natural History of Paris, Pro-Natura Int. and Agence Rapho, he spent 2 months on the island of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu to draw an underwater reef portrait as well as a variety of marine species and the flora and fauna of the untouched rainforest.
Under a commission by the Department of Education of Western Australia in 1999 he produced a detailed 7.2m X 1.5m panel of life on Western Australian coastal reefs as a Public Art Project for the students of Endeavour Primary School.
In 2004 he was commissioned through the Percent for Art scheme to prepare a number of large panels to be installed in a new Research and Education facility for the WA Fisheries Department. These works use new techniques and materials, such as reflective pigments. They represent a distillation of his many years of experience with marine life to create evocative mural sized panels with hidden layers of meaning and ever-changing intriguing surfaces.
Red Sea Reef
In 1995 A French documentary team enabled Swainston to embark on a project that had occupied his thoughts for many years, to draw his underwater subjects from life. During a voyage to Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula he executed the first of his large scale panoramic drawings of the coral reef, which formed the basis of a half hour documentary "[Peintre sous la Mer]" (Segment Productions).