2010: seven social sins

Artist Statement:  Seven Social Sins was my primary body of work created in 2010. The project consists of twenty-one 24 inch x 24 inch mixed media pieces on canvas. Media used included paper, found objects, ephemera, fabric, colored pencil, watercolor, ink and acrylic paint. Each canvas contains a unique conceptual image based on one of Mahatma Gandhi’s Seven Social Sins. Each sin has three individual pieces applicable to that particular theme.

My ultimate goal with this series was to create stunning, aesthetically pleasing imagery that remained intriguing, thought-provoking and subtly provocative. With a project of this nature it would be far easier to display the blatantly unpleasant and atrocious visuals likely to be associated with these principles. Despite this, I challenged myself to create a type of dichotomy within each piece, allowing the works to be both visual appealing yet slightly unnerving. The images contain their own beauty and interest on an aesthetic level. While at the same time, each work compels the viewer to consider various darker interpretations of the work. Eventually, I want people to gain a better understanding of how such sins play a constant role in our own cultures causing persistent social injustice.

Sin #1: Commerce without morality

Commerce without Morality I
Commerce without Morality I
Commerce without Morality II
Commerce without Morality II
Commerce without Morality III
Commerce without Morality III

Sin #2: Knowledge without character

Knowledge without Character I
Knowledge without Character I
Knowledge without Character II
Knowledge without Character II
Knowledge without Character III
Knowledge without Character III

Sin #3: Pleasure without conscience

Pleasure without Conscience I
Pleasure without Conscience I
Pleasure without Conscience II
Pleasure without Conscience II
Pleasure without Conscience III
Pleasure without Conscience III

Sin #4: Politics without principle

Politics without Principle I
Politics without Principle I
Politics without Principle II
Politics without Principle II
Politics without Principle III
Politics without Principle III

Sin #5: Science without humanity

Science without Humanity I
Science without Humanity I
Science without Humanity II
Science without Humanity II
Science without Humanity III
Science without Humanity III

Sin #6: Wealth without work

Wealth without Work I
Wealth without Work I
Wealth without Work II
Wealth without Work II
Wealth without Work III
Wealth without Work III

Sin #7: Worship without Sacrifice

Worship without Sacrifice I
Worship without Sacrifice I
Worship without Sacrifice II
Worship without Sacrifice II
Worship without Sacrifice III
Worship without Sacrifice III

My Seven Social Sins original publication is available here:

Seven Social Sins, by Carly Swenson featuring the poetry of Ben Westlie
Seven Social Sins, by Carly Swenson featuring the poetry of Ben Westlie

16 Comments Add yours

  1. This is a beautiful series of works

    1. Thank you so very much. Some of my favorite pieces are from that series.

  2. elbrigaking says:

    those are just masterpieces… sometimes it’s almost Steampunk, sometimes it’s wonderful, sometimes it’s scary, but always amazingly beautiful, with a perfectly chosen symbolism, you succeed to do three absolutly different works on the same subject, it’s so mysterious, poetic and leaves thousands of mystical questions. My favorite is “knowledge without character I”, it looks so georgous and at the same time it’s both cute and sorta sad. The birds looks like they’re gonna fly away from the painting.
    Congrats, and thank you, I had a wonderful time looking at these!

    1. Thank you very much. I appreciate your thoughtful comment. That is one of my favorites too. I am proud of this series, it was a tricky topic, because it inspires a lot of dark concepts. Some of my favorite works I have produced are part of this body of work.

  3. Alua says:

    This is just great and so inspiring.. I love the depth that the layers of different media are creating.. all these textures are really rich

    1. Thank you so very much for taking the time to check out my post and my work. I really appreciate you kind words about my work–seriously, thank you.

  4. moofiefate says:

    Wowwwwwww….. really beautiful.
    Congratulations!!!!!!
    Now I’ll go check out the book =)

    1. Thank you so much. I am very pleased with how this series turned out, it was a lot of work, but it was fantastic.

  5. Hi Carly, I could spend all day here, your whole blog is absolutely gorgeous. I’ve left my comment here because this is my favorite. lol. Best of luck with future work, exhibitions and adventures!
    Neil : )

    1. That is so sweet of you! Thank you so much. This is probably my favorite series to date as well. Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my work and comment on my blog. I sincerely appreciate it.

  6. wow… very thought provoking.. a little lost for words! Fantastic series, you must be delighted :)

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