About my work and practice


"My practice is and always has been, unashamedly eclectic; an emotive rationalising of anomalous and often incongruous ideas, images and working methods. This relationship between content/idea and process/manufacture has always fascinated me. The dilemma of 'high' fine art versus the decorative and crafted; the tussle between an interest in the traditions of modernist painting, a cerebral and logical minimalist ideology and a contemporary, mediated world with a plethora of image disconnects and meanings. My concerns are not in the resolution of these dilemmas, more the way I can elucidate the schism through painting. 


I use triptychs a great deal, a traditional formal presentation of three juxtaposed images. This format, which I have used for over twenty five years, allows for obvious thematic linkings as well as referencing historical sources and references to historical 'Doom' paintings. It also suggestions  visual narratives, continuing my interest in the relationship of film to the static image. I am also compelled by ideas of peripheral vision and things seen at the edge of our conscious reception and how these peripherals inform how we see ahead. Recent works involve inspections of place, both real and imagined. Place as a negotiation of who we are and how we are understood. Those moments where we are all on the threshold of moving to another ‘place’; those sensory thresholds that are at a point of intellectual, and visual negotiation with ourselves. The triptych offers options or possibilities of ‘moving on’ through visual negotiation as well as a visual ‘pollution’ or detritus that clouds our way ahead.


I continue my fascination with the process of painting, partly through the physical act of the manipulation of paint and resin and also as seen through photography. The photographic images I use in my work often appear like paintings, and have a number of the attributes of painting, at the same time they don't function in the way we are used to reading photographs. These dilemmas and contradictions in picturing intrigue me. Ultimately I am making pictures of and about other pictures. I am not interested in making a painting/photograph that describes the world we live in but I am interested in how the conventions of picturing allow us to 'read' an image and decode its meaning in terms of our relationship to a notion of 'place' and it's edges and the categoric or the 'real'. I want the work to function on two levels, to elicit the sense of familiarity of looking at an image that has the structures and conventions and a history of painting embedded in it, to make you aware of that, and at the same time to shift your attention to the very act of looking and thinking about the act of painting itself."



Terry Shave

All images copyright the artist                                   Click on images to enlarge and show title/info.                               Latest update May 2024