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Following a professional life working as a graphic designer, illustrator, and creative director in advertising and design groups, Julian Swift started painting for his own pleasure in 1996; in effect returning to his first love of figurative fine art which he’d studied at Manchester University in the 1960’s. Yorkshire landscapes, seascapes and still life studies still occupy some of his time, but its his charming ‘straw people’ paintings which have slowly begun to take precedence in his work.

Julian's straw-people came to life in his imagination in the 1990’s when he witnessed two scarecrows appearing to conduct a conversation in a cabbage field in Norfolk. The wind caused boiler suits, filled with straw, seemed to gesticulate so convincingly. Soon, Julian had created a whole sub-strata of society in which his enchanted subjects look to recycle the objects we throw away, such as old bicycles and animal feed sacks. There is indeed a great sense of pathos and humour in seeing these imaginary folk strive, largely unsuccessfully, to fit in with human society and customs, secretly adopting behaviors they have only ever witnessed from the field.

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Straw-People Artwork BY Julian Swift

Original Commissions from Julian Swift

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