Rick Swain is a leading New Zealand sculptor, who draws his inspiration for his work from New Zealand’s natural beauty and his life experiences. With a background in engineering design and photography, Swain began sculpting in the early 1980’s. The sense of freedom he found in the creation of abstract forms in wood was a welcome alternative. Working often with demolition materials, he transforms native and exotic timbers into large sculptural vessels with ceremonial overtones.
“My current works are increasingly simple in form. I am using variations in the density of natural colour, some added colour, and the surface texture provided by tool marks to create visual and textural boundaries“.
Swain’s unique works reflect his love of human and natural forms, and a deep understanding of the warm organic medium of wood. His works are to be found in private, corporate, and government collections in New Zealand and throughout the world, including a collection by and exhibition at the Sanyi Wood Sculpture Museum, Miaoli, Taiwan. Rick’s work is also featured in many of Hong Kong’s leading hotels and restaurants.
Abstracted, non-literal representation, devoid of sharpness or roughness, is Swain’s signature. It signifies that his concerns are not with outer form but with the idea, the essence of things. Swain attends to similar concerns as the work of Brâncuşi, Gabo and Hepworth and comparisons prove valid and fruitful.
Swain has been represented by ARTIS Gallery since 2013 and exhibited with ARTIS at the Auckland Art Fair in 2013, 2016 and 2018.