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27 September, 2014
Rick Swain Sculpture - A Retrospective


Other events in September 2014:

South Island Art Day

Hong Kong International Photo Festival 2014 Collateral Exhibition

"China of the Chinese" by Brian Brake


Koru Contemporary Art is excited to present "Rick Swain Sculpture - A Retrospective", showcasing Rick Swain's work of over the past 30 years.

Rick 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 to his background in engineering design and photography. Working often with demolition materials, he transforms native and exotic timbers into large sculptural vessels with ceremonial overtones, or abstract sculptures evoking moods as diverse as birth and the shaping force of the wind. 

"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"

Rick's unique works reflect his love of human and natural forms and his deep understanding of this warm organic medium. His works are to be found in private, corporate, and government collections in New Zealand and throughout the World, including 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.

Dr Cassandra Fusco wrote ".... Rick Swain’s.... works in wood are quiet, purposeful antidotes to urban overload.  He comments, “I left the city because I was able to.  The absence or divorce from natural sources can be overwhelming.” In the contemplation of nature, its balances and contraries, it is possible to look at abstract works such as these and access a sense of what we know and of mystery.  Swain’s work uses contemplation of experience as its source. 

Freed from the mimetic, Rick Swain’s forms are sourced in such incidents and in the nature of the selected medium.  The works are gestures about sources (material and emotional), rather than articulations of objects.  They are relational plays about presence and absence, the light and the dark.  Within the work, apertures or openings may appear to suggest the ‘searching gaze’ of the artist.  In fact, they involve the individual’s ability to see, to experience and understand the necessity for contemplative space.  Swain maintains that in contemporary industrial society adequate space is a complex and sometimes anxious matter, often fuelled by an overload of got-to-have ‘frills’ and billboard stimuli.  Reducing that complexity to the essential gesture is part of his editing process.  The result is abstraction, non-literal representations that can be experienced and extended by the viewer.

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.  The work does not turn its back on chaos.  It offers a space apart.  Swain attends to similar concerns as the work of Brâncuşi, Gabo and Hepworth and comparisons prove valid and fruitful. " 

When: September 27 - November 22, 2014

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm

Where: 1604, 16F Hing Wai Center, 7 Tin Wan Praya Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong

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