Ian Kingsford-Smith


Carrying the weight of childhood - carved Jelutong and acrylic paint H33 x W8 x D7.5 cm
Holding on to those who came before- carved Jelutong and acrylic paint H33 x W7 x D7 cm
Meditating on life's journey - carved Jelutong and acrylic paint H34 x W7.5 x D7.5 cm





Kingsford-Smith sees himself as a visual storyteller. “In my art practice,” he says, “history, personal history, memory, family records, ambitions, fantasy, dreams, mythology and spirituality” all combine to create enigmatic narratives. They are detailed but do not tell one explicit story, rather they tap into the viewer’s imagination and evoke a multitude of possible storylines. Each of Kingsford-Smith’s images evokes a larger story and meaning through his ability to play subtly with color, line and scale. Working in a variety of media, from etchings, to acrylics and oils on wood, to linocuts and wood engravings, Kingsford-Smith says that employing such a range of materials gives him the opportunity to realise his vision and bring it vividly to life for the viewer.

Ian Kingsford-Smith is a fulltime artist working in Sydney. He has studied painting with a number of leading New Zealand painters including Colin McCahon, Michael Smither and Toss Woollaston.

Ian has had solo exhibitions at ARO Gallery, Sydney, Artefacts/Unburied treasure 2019, Studio One Toi Tu, Auckland, New Zealand, Scenes from Daily Life, 2018; ARO Gallery, Sydney Votives, 2018; Spazio Tadini Museum, Milan, Italy, Narrative Fragments of Life, 2018; ARO Gallery, Sydney 2017 Afterlife; m2 Gallery, Sydney 2016 Lineage; Studio One Toi Tu, Auckland, New Zealand 2015, Pilgrimage Prints; Sheffer Gallery, Sydney 2015 Mappa Vitae, view publicity Click here; GAFFA, Sydney in 2014 Pilgrimage; Global Gallery in 2013 Dreams in Captivity, 2012 Australian Stories, 2011 Dingoes, 2010 Trees on Paper and group exhibitions in painting and printmaking in Florence, New York, Melbourne, Auckland and Cairns. Previously he has had solo and group exhibitions in Auckland, Dunedin and Palmerston North, New Zealand.

His work was accepted into the permanent collection of the Spazio Tadini Museum, Milan, Italy in August 2018 (Lineage man and three babies 2016) and in private and corporate collections in USA, Italy, Sweden, France, Germany, Wales, England, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia …

Background to Deites artworks

The artist has hand-carved wooden sculptures from Jelutong wood. Kingsford-Smith has researched diverse sources of three dimensional objects, including those from pre-Columbian, ancient Egypt, Polinesia, Olmac and Aztec cultures. These cultures produced pre-historic fertility and funeral idols, medieval votives and deities to represent their spiritual and symbolic values. The worship of deties is not a religion in and of itself, but a facet of religious expression which recognizes the existence of elements beyond human control. This form of worship has been traced to the ancient Egyptians and Romans, and is at the core of some religious practices such as those in China, tropical Africa, Malaysia, and Polynesia. The objects in the current exhibition are drawn from and juxtaposed with mythology, ancestral worship, and contemporary narratives as a way to connect the past, present, and future. By combining the historical with the new, it allows the audience to play an active role in contemplating their own life and spirituality.