Nastassja Swift was born in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1992. From a very young age her artistic approach was inspired by collections of black porcelain dolls, as well as her mother’s folders of drawings. These figurative works define both her research and artistic creation. Representations of the body, inquiries about racism, questions about her roots, explorations on cultural identity, ancestry and history are the axis of this artist's work. Although Nastassja started with painting as medium, she soon moved to work with sculptural fibers, which are a distinctive feature of her production. Through portraiture, she becomes an expert storyteller, approaching with a rich and sensitive lens the nuanced narratives of black culture.
Nastassja’s studies in Fine Arts at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), later specializations in Painting and Printmaking, as well as Crafts and Material Studies, enhanced her multidisciplinary approach. For Nastassja, African cultural influences and those of artists such as Kara Walker, Sonia Clark, and Ng’endo Mukii, open paths that cross cinematography, painting, sculpture, and performance, all practices that she articulates in the broad scope of her creative work. Numerous exhibitions in the United States, as well as grants and awards, attest the relevance of her artistic path. Currently, Nastassja also runs “D for Dolls”, a company from which she promotes arts among children, through sets used to create fiber-dolls.
2021 Blue/Black/baby smiles, singin’ to an old river - we hear you coming, SPACES, Cleveland, USA
2021 Canaan: when I read your letter, I feel your voice, Galveston Arts Center, Galveston, USA
2021 Canaan: when I read your letter, I feel your voice, Historical Hampton Courthouse, Hampton, USA
2019 She was here, once, Lane Hall, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
2018 Hidden Underneath, Harmony Hall Arts Center, Fort Washington, USA
2016 I Keep Repeating it Over & Over in My Head, VCU Qatar Gallery, Doha, Qatar.
2015 Conscious of Being Seen, Fine Arts Building, Richmond, USA
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2022 To hold on, to be held, Nastassja E. Swift and Avery Williamson, Quirk Gallery, Richmond, USA
2021 MAKING MARKS | Figural Identity, transfiguration, and receptive tactility, Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, USA
2021 Black Spirituals, Eleanor and Hopps Gallery, The Contemporary Arts Network, Newport News, USA
2020 The Benediction, Eleanor and Hopps, The Contemporary Arts Network, Newport News, USA
2020 Hello There, Quirk Gallery, Charlottesville, USA
2019 Afrikana Independent Film Festival, Richmond, USA
2019 Remembering Her Homecoming, Solo Room Installation, Wa Na Wari, Seattle, USA
2019 Breaching the Margins, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, USA
2018 InLight Richmond, 1708 Gallery Exhibition, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, USA.
2017 Urgent Care, A Social Care Experience, The Colored Girls Museum, Philadelphia, USA.
2016 Fiber National 2016, Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, USA
2015 Considerably More, Gallery 1010, Knoxville, USA
2015 Annual Juried Fine Arts Exhibition, Anderson Gallery, Richmond, USA
2014 Emerging Printmakers Exhibition, Studio Two Three, Richmond, USA
2021 Figurative Wool Sculptures by Nastassja Swift Explore the Memories and Narratives of Blackness, Grace Ebert, Colossal
2020 A Shared Experience, Laura Drummond, RVA Magazine
2020 Wool Works, Valerie D. Parker, RHome Magazine
2019 Finding a Home in Wa Na Wari, Jasmyne Keimig , the Stranger
2018 Walking to Remember, Elise Kim, Richmond Magazine
2016 Encounters: An Interview with Mist Gallery, David Talton, Culturescene Magazine
2016 Is That Real, Udayan Nag, T Qatar Magazine
2016 Over and Over in My Head, Oh LaLa Magazine
2016 Communicating Through Art, Lezima Gomes, Qatar Tribune
2016 Art Fights Racism, Fazeena Saleem, The Peninsula