Ian Swift – Flotsam

Ian Swift – Flotsam

Ian Swift has always been a maker.
As a child he’d ask Santa for saws and hammers with claws. He’d collect bicycle parts from hard rubbish to assemble into hybrid bikes for pocket money.

After meandering through many manual jobs, he found his people at art school (UNE Lismore).

Through his career, his primary motivation has been the environment and his many exhibitions and group shows have reflected this. Accepted twelve times in Bondi Sculpture by the Sea and awarded People’s Choice 1999 and Art Gallery of NSW prize 2002.

After twenty years living and working in the Blue Mountains, he moved to another strong arts community on Scotland Island in 2017.


Penguins have often been a recurring unintentional motif. From ceramic kettles, table legs, bowling pins and now boat fenders washed ashore on Scotland Island.

Flotsam is a primal response to jetsam and the biosphere it affects.

Penguins are loved for their cute and waddly monogamy and fearless curiosity. Never marine plasticity.

His recent work reflects this with much marine plastic and other interesting flotsam.