SWAN Portraits Exhibitions – The Story Behind the Exhibition

SWAN Portraits Exhibitions – The Story Behind the Exhibition

SWAN Vitrual Portraits Exhibition
Celebrating the lives of SWAN Children
Artists supporting SWAN families through acts of kindness

Art to reflect beauty and diversity

About the SWAN Portraits Exhibition


My name is Kat, and Crystal and I started SWAN Portraits to reflect the faces of SWAN children, beautiful, powerful and together as one. We wanted to use art to reflect beauty in diversity. And to show support for the children who without a diagnosis, may not have a voice. SWAN children are our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, and our friends. Some of our children walk and talk, others have found their own unique and beautiful way to communicate with those around them. Some go to school; others will learn from life around them. Many of our SWAN children spend a great deal of time in hospital or in hospice care, with some of their biggest milestones shared with doctors and nurses. Some SWAN children no longer grace this earth anymore and have gained their wings. Their faces tell a thousand stories and it’s their story we want to tell.


Crystal Lina is an internationally recognised artist. Her passion for creating positive change in the lives of others are captured in the stories of the art she makes.

Crystal has always aspired to draw. At the age of 4, she had won her first drawing competition.

Crystal was the youngest of her time to be accepted into the Whitehouse Institute of Design, a prestigious fashion college and has also trained at Australia’s top fashion design institute, East Sydney TAFE.

Travelling all over the world, Crystal has met and drawn some of the most recognised faces of our time including; dog whisperer Cesar Milan, Anti Poaching founder Damien Mander, business leader and mentor Kerwin Rae and transformational leader Wim Hof. Crystal was also commissioned to draw Senator Derryn Hinch, which was gifted to him on his birthday.

Crystal’s heart is in her charity work. She has donated an original piece of art to the Banksia Project, was honoured to be involved in the Las Vegas Portraits Project and has been featured twice on Channel 9 news, for her contributions to the community through art and was also interviewed for the morning show ‘Weekend Sunrise’ on Channel 7.

Crystal is now extending her act of kindness, becoming the Co-Founder of SWAN Portraits.

Around a year ago, Crystal Lina decided to use her skills and pay it forward to create a butterfly effect of kindness. Earlier in the year, she had met a beautiful lady, Kat Barlow whose son Noah had a very rare version of mitochondrial disease. In fact, it is so rare that he was the only known person in the world with it.

Having been inspired by Noah’s story, Crystal, Kat, and Heather founded SWAN Portraits.

The idea was to gather a group of artists and have them create portraits of children who are living with these challenging and rare conditions. Some children are now angels and others will go forth to live their lives. The most inspirational part is that Crystal now receives portraits from around the world, that will be gifted to these courageous children and their families.

Rebecca Conci

To be apart of a project like this was an honour for me. Having two SWAN children of my own and photographing for SWAN for the past six years I have met and photographed many of the beautiful families connected. Whilst photographing the portraits I took the time to look at the children in each piece of artwork. Every one of them capturing the essence of the child instilled within the portraits themselves. The power coming from not only the artists, but the children and their stories. Children who can each tell a story beyond what some would know in a lifetime. I think about not only the children but also the teams around the child that support, love and encourage every single day. It was an honour to be apart of such a heartfelt project, and to knowingly contribute to something that is bigger than each of us as individuals. After all, it always takes a village… 

More of Rebecca’s photos can be found on her website.

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