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Tim Shaw

Sculptor, working across media to create contemporary sculptural installations, often drawing from historical references and classical techniques.

The need to shape and form material into something that expresses meaning and emotion is an instinctual one that fundamentally underpins my artistic practice. It is an activity that connects contemporary life with prehistoric existence. The mirroring of humanity’s ideas and beliefs over thousands of years is something that is profoundly important and moving.

My work, which is essentially figurative, delves into the nature of the human psyche and has elements that are political, metaphysical and mythological. Themes of ritual and conflict reoccur. There is an attempt to understand the nature of who we are through a process of reduction: stripping back the human condition to its primordial bare bones. I am particularly interested in the aspects of humanity that do not change. To give an example, the photo image of the Abu Ghraib tortured prisoner has the appearance of an ancient relic that could have been dug out of the earth from long ago.

The creative process is something that I need to experience first hand. This unpredictable journey with its twists and turns, its frustrations and breakthroughs, contains a unique expressiveness that imprints upon the work. I have created immersive installations that integrate elements of light, sound and smell with sculpted form. This multi-sensory aspect of contemporary practise engages with a culture more used to experiencing moving image. Theme and subject matter often directs the choice of medium and scale. Sometimes a small free-standing form expresses everything that needs to be said.

Most recently, I have employed robotics and A.I. in a work entitled The Birth of Breakdown Clown. The integration of writing, technology and sculpture opens up exciting possibilities giving the work a new dimension.

In classical Greece, when priests entered the inner sanctum of the temple of Athena, they stood in fear before the gargantuan statue, believing that the fashioned marble, ivory and cast gold contained within, the spirit of the Virgin Goddess. The idea that an artwork could contain inner life or numinous presence is something that I find compelling, as it is what engages the imagination.

Tim Shaw


1964                    b. Belfast

1985 - 89             Falmouth College of Art, BA (Hons) Fine Art: First Class





2022           Fág an Bealach (Clear the Way) Anima Mundi, St Ives

2018           Beyond Reason, San Diego Museum Of Art, California, USA

                   What Remains, The Exchange, Penzance

2017           Something Is Not Quite Right, Anima Mundi, St Ives

2016           The Birth of Breakdown Clown, Kate Hamburger Kolleg, Germany                2015           Mother The Air is Blue, The Air is Dangerous, FE McWilliam Gallery, NI

                   Time Got Kicked Around, Kappatos Gallery, Athens, Greece

2014           Black Smoke Rising, touring exhibition, Mac Birmingham and

                   Aberystwyth Arts Centre

2013           Awaken from the Dream of Reality, Millennium Gallery, St.Ives

2012          Soul Snatcher Possession, Riflemaker, London

2011          Origins of The Drummer, Millennium Gallery, St. Ives

2009           Riflemaker at The Kenneth Armitage Foundation, London

2008           Casting A Dark Democracy, Kenneth Armitage Foundation

                   Future History, Goldfish Fine Art, Cornwall

2006           No Title, Goldfish Fine Art, Cornwall

2005           Fragments from the Middle World, Truro Cathedral

1999           La Corrida ~ Dreams In Red, Falmouth Art Gallery, Cornwall

1997           La Corrida ~ Dreams In Red, Duncan Campbell Gallery, London

1995           Fragments from Middle World, Duncan Campbell Gallery, London

1992           Fragments from Middle World, Albemarle Gallery, London





2021           Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London           

2021           Thresholds, Anima Mundi, St Ives

2021           Annual Exhibition, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol

2021           Castles of Sand, Anima Mundi, St Ives

2020           Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London  

2020           Beyond Ourselves, Anima Mundi, St Ives (online)

2020           Renaming the Decameron, Flowers, London (online)

2019           Fire: Flashes To Ashes In British Art 1962-2019, Royal West of England

                   Academy, Bristol

2019           Face To Face Auction House, Warsaw, Poland 

2019           Sculpture Open Exhibition, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol

2019           Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

2018           Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

2017           Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

                   The Force of Nature, London; Curated by James Putnam,

                   Sublunary, The Baldwin Gallery, London

                   Annual Exhibition, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol 

                   London Art Fair; Anima Mundi

2016           From Silence, Herrick Gallery, London

                   The Collective, House of St. Barnabus, London;

                   Annual Exhibition, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Ireland

2015           Homo Sapiens, Beaux Arts, London

                   Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

2014           Reflections of War, Flowers Gallery, London

                   Back From the Front, RWA, Bristol

                   Out of Our Heads, Shoreditch Town Hall, London

                   Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

2013           Rituals are tellers of us, Newlyn Art Gallery

                   Dark Rooms, Old School Helston

2012           Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

                   Sculptors’ Drawings, Works on Paper, Pangolin Gallery

                   PiH Contemporaries Auction, Bonhams London

                   Launch Exhibition, Threadneedle Space, London

2011           Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

                   The Exquisite Trove, Newlyn Art Gallery

                   The Sculpture Show, Mullan Gallery, Belfast

2010        Material Worlds, F.E McWilliam Gallery, Northern Ireland





2021            Arts Council England, Project Grant

2021            Arts Council England, DYCP Grant

2015-16       Elected Honorary member of the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol

                    Resident Artist Fellowship: Kate Hamburger Kolleg, Bonn, Germany

                    Jack Goldhill Award for Sculpture, Royal Academy

2014            Resident Artist, Kappatos Gallery, Athens

2013            Elected Member to the Royal Academy of Art, London

                    Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors, London

                    Elected Honorary Fellow, Falmouth University, Cornwall     

2008           The Federation of British Artists Selectors Prize, Threadneedle, London

2006           Kenneth Armitage Sculpture Fellowship, London

2005           The Mullan Prize, Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition, NI

                    Prince of Wales Bursary Award, The British School at Athens




St.Cross College, Oxford

Bonn University

Arts Council

Carew-Pole Garden Trust 

David Roberts Foundation

Delfina Foundation

Eden Project

Boyle Civic Collection

Cornwall County Council      

Kenneth Armitage Foundation

Falmouth Art Gallery

British School at Athens

UCA Farnham Collection



2020 Man On Fire, George Frampton Award (RA) & Imperial War Museums

2012 The Green Man, Antony House

2009 The Drummer, Lemon Quay

2002      2002 The Minotaur, Royal Opera House Hous            

2000  Rites of Dionysus, Eden Project



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