Amber Swinburne BA (Hons) Fine Art
Amber is a non-binary artist based in Manchester, working primarily in video and performance art. Their work is an exploration into gender dysphoria, anxiety, sex, and the body from a perspective of embracing the repulsive and turning deep-rooted discomfort into catharsis. Through disgusting and sometimes violent performances and use of food, fluids, home-made gore, and glitter, Amber seeks to exorcise negative emotions or destructive impulses and channel them into something productive, comforting, entertaining, and a little bit fetishy. They take inspiration from the goth and industrial subcultures, using screeching electronic sound and grungy guitar to add to the visuals, as well as low-budget horror movies, and performance as a queer art form.
In drag, Amber becomes ALISTAIR, an experimental persona dreamt up to explore the boundaries of their own gender and create a more playful space for art performance. Alistair straddles the masculine and feminine, human and monster, and is a character in constant transformation – leatherdyke, sadomasochist drag king, glittery genderless mess. Through drag, Amber/Alistair tries to reach a community of like-minded individuals and create a gory, goth-y safe space for the othered.