Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ricky Swallow

I’ve been wanting to go see Ricky Swallow: The Bricoleur exhibition at the NGV Ian Potter Centre since I heard that it opened in mid October last year. So I guess it was better late than never, as I finally went and saw it, on it’s last exhibiting day (today!).

I realised walking though his works, that I was a complete fool to leave this exhibition till the last day. I found this amazing sense of affection towards his pieces. They seemed to tap into and touch the need to cherish and care for them, and ultimately care for the things that we care about. Swallow seemed to be highly concerned with the concept of death, but more so in the tribute of it, and the element of time mixed with emotion that is imbedded in life. His works are immaculately and sensitively carved from wood or cast bronze, and with beautiful attention to detail. The use of a technique that you feel has experienced time through its construction, also a complement to his concepts. What I really enjoyed about this exhibition is that Swallow seems to pay homage to the luscious and tender Still Lives of the Dutch Masters through clever symbology, while still harbouring strong sentimental values of his own, and current society. While never being overly confronting, Swallow’s works seemed to invite the viewer into the work. Letting the subtlety of its meaning reveal itself in our (the viewers) own time.

It is difficult to articulate the sense of compassion and appreciation of his works after this exhibition. So here are some of my favourite pieces from the exhibition:


p.s. Don’t worry if you missed-out on the exhibition at the NGV, Ricky Swallow’s website is wonderfully extensive; with photographic documentation of all his works. And while it is not the same as seeing them in person, you can still enjoy his techinique.

Images sourced from:

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