2022 ARTIST BIOS | Ian Haggerty & Michael Van Dam

/ / Artist Bios 2022

About Ian Haggerty & Michael Van Dam

Ian Haggerty
Born in Edinburgh in 1958, Military trained (Chieftain Tanks), Ian Haggerty moved to Canada in 1993 where he studied at the Dundas Valley School of Art, in Ontario. He has won numerous awards and commissions across North America, Europe, and Australia, and regards his life-like sculptures of people and animals within nature as his specialty. Ian works predominantly in steel, resin, clay polymer concrete, and bronze. Ian is currently a resident of the Gold Coast and has achieved a significant following for his Steel silhouette sculptures. Ian looks to nature for his inspiration; he is a prolific traditional/realist Sculptor (with a sympathetic twist) and revels in the smallest detail of any sculpture he produces.
Ian strongly believes that it can be difficult to improve too much on the beauty of nature; however, sometimes the sculptor is able to enhance a single moment in time by providing a different perspective on reality. Ian has a strong passion for the need to sculpt, he mostly enjoys sculpting people and animals interacting in a harmonious and sustainable setting. Currently, he revels in sculpting Large Scale Steel Plate laser-cut ANZAC sculptures for the Dept of Veteran Affairs. Over the years, he has progressed from minute finger-sized resin sculpted figurines to large-scale public art monuments; some over 6.5 meters high and finished in high polished stainless steel, concrete, bronze, and or resin, with some of his sculptures weighing well over a tonne. This evolution of scale, combined with Ian’s relentless passion for detail, has stood him in good stead for his recent works and he really enjoys it when people can see the empathy he has for the subject matter and that little extra effort in the sculptural work he portrays. Ian Haggerty 2022

Michael Van Dam
Born in New Zealand in 1964, self taught Queensland based artist Michael Van Dam (“Mike”) lives with his wife and two children and is one of only a few of the world’s professional stainless-steel sculptor and artist.
Mike is an award-winning and internationally recognized artist that has a strong background in creating iconic marine and important sculptures that have been placed all over the world and have attracted various prestigious artistic awards. Mike’s sculptures have been previously placed in central iconic locations such as Sydney Harbour, Hayman Island, Israel and Greece. Mike creates highly aesthetic artwork and has been mentioned as “one of the most innovative and eminent contemporary realist and hyper-realist international artists” by the Rarity Gallery, Mykonos, Greece. Mike is a welding expert due to his lifelong work as a Sheet Metal Worker by trade, specialising in stainless steel, and passionate about contemporary art and sculptures that deliver powerful messages. Mike’s sculptures are known to not only be aesthetically pleasing and impactful, but also very durable. The high-quality material used by Mike was selected by Mike after intense research to learn how to easily manipulate the materials when it comes to changing size or shape of the material that creates sculptures that can last hundreds of years. The material Mike uses for most of his sculptures is 4mm, 6mm and 10mm 316 marine grade stainless steel (used on boats). Once the links are welded together, Mike’s sculptures become strong and durable, ideal for underwater, coastal, commercial, public environment and luxury homes, hotels and yachts. Mike is known to create meaningful and moving pieces. In 2016, Mike presented at the Swell Sculpture Festival a set of three different face masks titled “Life is a Masquerade”. The impact of his creations were reflected through TV interviews with stations such as the ABC as well as press interviews highlighting his masks, artwork and powerful and moving message.

2022 SWELL ARTWORK – Earth’s Custodian, Ian Haggerty

Depicting the ravages of climate change, the globe highlights the past, present and potential extinction of species, pressing down hard on the kneeling figure’s back, representing the strength required to balance our ever-demanding needs with our precious ecosystem. This tired figure is the protector of our planet, for its flora and fauna, demonstrating human responsibility, and reminding us that every action has either a positive or negative chain reaction. Recognising the burden of looming extinction on its back. It depicts not only the exhaustive obligation, and delicate balance, but the necessary collaborative strength of humanity, and the need for sensitivity and proactive change.

Website: www.artonthefringe.com.au  http://stainlesschainreaction.com/biography.html 

Come and see for yourself at SWELL Sculpture Festival, Pacific Parade, Currumbin 9-18 September.


Mike Van Dam is also exhibiting at the 2022 Industrial SWELL

The Hatchling | The Hatchling Turtle emerges from the sand, to begin it’s arduous journey to the ocean, returning years latter to lay eggs of their own.