Sylva has been painting for 20 years. Always big, always expressive.
After high school and with 2 exhibitions under her belt, she began her fine art education at Launceston University, before moving back to the Gold Coast and finishing her degree at the Queensland College of Art.
After finishing at the QCA, Sylva moved to New York where she was accepted under a work/ study scholarship at the Art Students League of New York. Cutting her teeth in the same place that Jackson Pollock, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg and Georgia Okeefe did before her.
At the art students league she exhibited frequently and was included in many faculty selected exhibitions. Her instructors included renowned artists such as Larry Poons, Knox Martin and Ronnie Landfield.
In New York Sylva exhibited in many group shows, solo pop up spaces, open studios, and painted a notable mural on the lower east side of Manhattan.
Sylva lived in New York for 8 years, Las Vegas for another year and has been back in Australia since 2015. Sylva has not shown her work publically since leaving New York 5 years ago. She has not stopped painting in that time, her new show “Triggered” is her first Australian show since 2001.
“Triggered is that time where something sets us off, an emotional explosion, either internal or external. I paint automatically trying to remove myself from the aesthetic process and let my subconscious decide which brush strokes to enhance and which to ignore.
At certain points I find the bodies and faces in my process. They narrate stories and meanings I’m not fully aware of yet I somehow identify with. I paint mostly with acrylics so that the layers dry quickly and the stories unfold at the pace that they need to.
Sometimes it is loud and fast, other times the images tease and whisper for days or months before they reveal themselves to me” – Sylva