Local artist Ivan Lovatt has been creating sculpture professionally for the past 15 years. Ivan initially came to be known for his beautiful characterisations of wildlife fashioned from claimed driftwood, winning the Peoples’ Choice Award at the 2004 Swell Festival for his quirky Emu, “Running Bird Walking”. Ivan then returned to using his favourite material, galvanised wire, a medium that lends itself to the sensitivity and delicacy of his expression. By layering, twisting, shaping and pinning this very ordinary medium Ivan creates both abstract and realistic representations, which are tactile, appealing to the viewer to touch. The wire, with its hexagonal shapes can provide a good deal of structural integrity, and with layering and using different gauges of wire it is possible to create very large sculptures. As Ivan’s skills evolved, he was drawn to the challenge of figurative work, and he was commissioned to create a series of portraits of famous people for the Jackman Gallery in Melbourne before going on to create a second series of portraits for several Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museums in the USA, London and Australia.
Ivan is most renowned for his wire representations of wild life which have won him numerous prizes and fans including People’s Choice Awards (2008, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2018) and the Peer Award (2015) at the Gold Coast Swell Sculpture Exhibition for his super size owl “Merlin”, bee “Macro”, emu “Curious Bird”, “Wolf”, lion “Magnificent” and Gullah “You’re Terrible Muriel!”.
Ivan’s work has been commissioned for public and private exhibition across Australia and in the UK, Denmark, Austria, the US, and Brazil. More recently Ivan was commissioned to create a series of sculptures for the new “Lion Pride Lands” Exhibition at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo.
2020 SWELL ARTWORK – Men of the North, Ivan Lovatt
Floki is a character from the series “Vikings”. He is fiercely loyal to his tribe and gods and is prepared to descend to any level of violence to defend and honour them. Floki is conflicted by the senseless destruction caused by his doctrine. As his dogma begins to collapse, he is forced to confront himself and the consequences of his actions. At times he sees himself as a fool and with his war paint he reflects the archetype of the dark clown still familiar and recognisable today.
2020 – westerlySWELL ARTWORK – Wallaby, Ivan Lovatt
Perhaps the most celebrated Indigenous marsupial the wallaby, is an Australian icon, revered worldwide. As an endangered species we are privileged to witness these extraordinary creatures grazing in our suburb, but how can we cohabit safely? Never offering human food, reducing unnecessary fencing and keeping our dogs restrained would be a great place to start.
Come and see for yourself at SWELL Sculpture Festival, Pacific Parade, Currumbin 11-20 September.