Killing Time by Ricky Swallow Analysis

“Killing time” by Ricky Swallow is a Sculpture of a old table with all sorts of fishing utensils and types of fish on top that are all carved out of laminated Jelutong, maple and is 108 x 184 x 118cm and it is relatable by the audience of 1970 because that was the time that inspired him, when he’s dad would come home and put a whole heap of fish on the table from the days catch. Ricky is a fantastic sculptor he has one prizes such as Contempora Prize in Melbourne at the age of 25 in 1999 and has represented Australia in the 2005 Venice Biennale with his artwork “This Time Another Year”.

This artwork that we will be looking at is one of Ricky’s many fine sculptures its called “killing time” but the reason why this sculpture is so amazing is how he crafts the maple in to the beautiful realistic texture of a fish or an overused table. Ricky Swallow born on 1974 in San Remo, Victoria is an Australian sculptor that now works and lives in the US, where he sells sculptures for a living.

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He creates detailed pieces and installations in a variety of media, often utilizing objects of everyday life as well as the body, bones etc. He first came to prominence in Australia when he won the Contempora 5 Prize in Melbourne at the age of 25 in 1999. Most of he’s works are models, miniatures, replicas, copies ect, and He uses many materials such as Types of wood, different metals and he also use random objects or even junk that cannot be used anymore.

Swallow thought about the circumstance that the sculpture was in, someone putting down his fishing utensils and throwing the basket of fish on the table and it spilling on to the cloth, ready to be sliced up by the cook. This is important as it shows the realistic organization that swallow has created using carved objects. The signs used are the unclean bench, fish scattered all over the table, the already used knife, the scrunched table cloth and the apron that’s on the side. Ricky has used the bench the tools, the fish placed in the middle of the table and already used knife to make the sculpture more life-like. Its more like someone was just there butchering their fish, they vanished and that’s when swallow captures his frame. It make me feel that I’m not doing enough that this person is struggling to make money or that he is fishing for his food and I’m having it easy, it also can be shared with other people like homeless people or financially poor people. It’s an eye opener for people that are able to pay for things without worry or working hard. There are signs of new technology in this sculpture the tools used and the amount of fish suggest that there must be some updated tool to catch all these as it would be impossible for a caveman to catch this many. The fact that this looks like this person is some butcher because of all these fish I guess that he would support the new technology as it is supporting him with more fish so that he’s business can thrive.

Yes it either focuses on the stereo type of the hard worker or the laidback Australian coming in with the daily catch ready to fry up on the barbecue. I believe that the artwork is trying to say that some people have it to easy as some people are fighting for survival. It shows people of that age can relate to the same hardworking nature as in the sculpture.

The table that he has used is an appropriation of the Australian household table but he has turned it into the workbench for his subject. The fish also have been created so that they seem dead with huge big eyes and the way that there body’s are positioned indicate there deceased nature. It can relate and effect people who are involved with fish in their life. “Killing time” is a great sculpture for many reasons, its meaning to the artist, the artistic techniques used, its realistic nature and the relatable context within.

Ricky has thought about how he can represent a bit of himself in this artwork and how he can relate it to other people. “A creation to remember” (Brian Sherwin (born January 22, 1980) is an American art critic, writer, and blogger).

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Killing Time by Ricky Swallow Analysis. (2016, Dec 24). Retrieved from