Nien Schwarz retired recently from teaching contemporary sculpture and environmental art at Edith Cowan University. She has also worked in remote regions as a bush cook for geoscience mapping and sampling expeditions since 1981. Her artworks echo fieldwork experiences; paintings feature hand-collected and prepared earth colours, large-scale installations and public art commissions include geological references. Her artworks intend to provoke consideration of unsustainable land use practices and lifestyles fuelled by a reliance on fossil and mineral extraction.
Nien's hand built ceramic forms include commercial clays combined with wild clays and aggregates. Some clays are built from scratch. Experimental glazes incorporate geological waste sourced directly from WA mines, exploration drilling sites and scientific analyses.