Ayako Saito – Artist Feature

In News August 20, 2020

Ayako Saito was born in Japan and moved to Australia in 2002. Her dynamic and inventive sculptures manipulate space and form to create beautiful pieces full of movement and musicality. Ayako recently chatted with us about her experiences and creative endeavours during lockdown and throughout 2020.


What has been inspiring your work lately? Have you been finding it easier to create during isolation or more challenging?

We got our studio and home flooded at the beginning of this year and it ruined a roll of Arches paper. That liberated me from being intimidated by such a beautiful paper and inspired me to work with it freely. Now I have been playing with the paper and making paper collage and paintings.

I have been working on my work for Sculpture by the Sea this year. When my first maquette was created I realised some structural problems in the enlargement of the work. Therefore, I kept working on the same theme and developed a series of maquettes not just for solving the engineering problem but also working on something that has developed as variations on a theme.

The life of the artist is lonely. We are always isolated in the studio, but forced isolation intensified my focus on making my art. One of the challenging things during isolation is that we cannot share and talk about our works at the studio with friends like we used to do. Talking to people about art always gives me some insight and objectiveness.

Ayako Saito, 'Rivulet' 2016, steel, painted, 150 x 60 x 75 cmRivulet  2016  steel, painted  150 x 60 x 75 cm

What is an artwork or artist that continues to inspire you?

Henri Matisse: His use of colour makes me happy and gives me courage to tackle the emotion of colour.

Yukio Nakagawa: He is an avant gard Ikebana artist. His forcus showed the essence of flowers.

Ron Robetson-Swann: He never gives up on what he is working on and has an incredible capacity and sensibility to see and analyse intellectually anyone’s art works including his own without being disturbed by his own emotion. He is constantly challenging his own thoughts and is always open to listen to anybody’s opinion. “Interest in disinterest ” is one of the most insightful things I learnt from him.

Favourite book/literature

“Himegimi” by Amy Yamada

“Jibunn nonakani doku wo mote” by Taro Okamoto (He is a Japanese artist whose book about art and life I found more interesting than his art works)

“Mujinzo” by Shoji Hamada: This book describes lots of Japanese culture in his story that I cannot explain.

Favourite place/memory


Our bed

OfferingOffering  2019  steel, painted  29.5 x 38.5 x 11 cm

Favourite music to listen to

West Side Story: I watched the movie so many times when I was a small child (partly because my parents hardly let us watch commercial TV). I still get goose bumps when I hear the music.


Silence (I like silence when I work)

OrbitOrbit I  2019  steel, painted  34 x 43 x 83 cm

What are you looking forward to doing once COVID is over

Hug my friends and family.

Talking to strangers without being worried about covid.

0415Ayako Saito with her husband, Ron Robertson-Swann