Tonya Sweet

Deconstruct (2018) mixed media collage - 300mmx840mm

Tonya Sweet is an artist-designer and established design educator with expertise in conceptually oriented art and design. Currently residing in New Zealand, Tonya was granted a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and a Bachelor of Fine Art in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design in the United States. Fluent across mediums and scales, Tonya’s work transverses sculpture, furniture, speculative objects, architectural intervention, painting and collage. With international exhibitions in New Zealand, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States, and artist residencies in Japan, her work reflects diverse experiences and an aptitude for critical and creative investigation.

Tonya’s research and creative work challenges and interrogates the negative emotional and psychological impacts of traumatic events. The work displayed in this exhibition, “Deconstruct”, is part of a larger body of work entitled ‘Design for Disaster’ whereby Tonya investigates trauma within the context of earthquakes. This subject is explored through the context of speculative and conceptually-derived objects and collages that employ empathy, humour, and play in the broad exploration of trauma-related anxieties and the desire for psychological resilience.