© Tony Swain

Reference URL

Unpaired 2004
  • Scottish Art
This work has been painted onto pages from ‘The Guardian’– the newspaper that Swain buys most regularly. The artist takes inspiration from the juxtaposition of images found in the newspaper to create a surreal landscape. He expands on the shapes and forms that he is particularly drawn to, but tries to impose himself on the work as little as possible and, at the outset, has no idea how it will look when completed. In ‘Unpaired’ an image of orange and white stripes has evolved into a tent, and a section of checked material, which begins in the foreground, is pushed backwards into the distance. The result is a fantastical landscape of shapes and patterns, which is both familiar and alien.

Glossary Open


A literary and artistic movement founded by the poet André Breton in 1924. Many of the associated artists, such as Max Ernst and Jean Arp, had previously been involved with Dadaism. The movement sought to challenge conventions through the exploration of the subconscious mind, invoking the power of dreams and elements of chance. Cultural hierarchies were challenged by the combination of diverse elements in collages and sculptural assemblages. The movement is also notable for the collaborations between artists and writers evident in the Surrealists' many publications.



  • Acc. No. GMA 4751
  • Medium Acrylic on newspaper
  • Size 50.10 x 73.00 cm
  • Credit Purchased with funds from the Cecil and Mary Gibson Bequest 2004