Mark Swords is an artist who lives and works in County Wicklow, Ireland. Since graduating in 2003 with an MFA from The National College of Art and Design his work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and is represented in numerous collections. Although primarily a painter Swords’ work often utilises a wide range of disciplines including sculpture, assemblage, weaving and installation. His work is best described as ”open” and functions for him as an opportunity to explore a variety of diverse interests encompassing: graffiti, painting, literature, pattern, everyday surroundings, design and crafts.
The hand-made aspect of Swords’ work is clearly evident, and together with the materials, forms and use of colour relay a sense of curiosity and workmanship. The works are finely executed, and this curiosity is apparent in the artist’s self learning and even re-learning through his engagement with materials, such that a piece of work may result from the solving of a self imposed problem. Utilising materials that are often overlooked, including carpet, tent fabric, and string, and without attempting to hide the processes of making, the strength of Swords’ work resides in its fragility and careful informality.