Artist and Performer
Ian Smith, who has died aged 55 after a long struggle with severe depression, was an artist, performer, art gangster and mischief maker. He leaves a massive legacy of work and memories for the hundreds who have worked with him and his company, Glasgow-based Mischief La Bas. If you have ever had your shoes washed by the Elvis Cleaning Company or seen a group of terrified Christmas trees being chased by a mad cartoon axe man, you will have seen his work. Or perhaps you attended a Festival Of Fudge or the Market of Optimism or were lucky enough to be accosted in some far-flung Scottish village by a tribe of Vikings desperate to make amends for that burning and pillaging all those centuries ago.
Or maybe just last week you were astonished to see the Fan Families, six teetering towers of puppets moving amongst the crowds at the Commonwealth Games.
Ian Smith moved between making art and making entertainment with ease, confidence and charm. He was constantly creating and finding new ways of sharing his view of the world through every available medium: art to performance, radio and television to cabaret and circus.