A major exhibition bringing together a number of works by Tim Shaw, the sculptor and Royal Academician is currently showing to wide acclaim at The Exchange in Penzance, and will travel to San Diego Museum of Art later in 2018.
Drawn from personal experience, Shaw’s exhibition features two installations that address head-on the global presence and effect of terrorism and the pervasive sense of hidden powers having control over our lives. The larger-than-life, looming figures from Soul Snatcher Possession are shown within the confines of an enclosed space, alongside Shaw’s immersive installation Mother, The Air Is Blue, The Air Is Dangerous.
Describing his work Shaw says: “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.”
Mother, The Air Is Blue, The Air Is Dangerous is an immersive experience using video and sound. It is a deeply personal work which offers a visceral insight into Shaw’s experience as a child in Belfast when he and his mother were caught in an IRA bombing. Shaped by Bloody Friday*, the work focuses beyond the zone of terror, a place occupied by a vision that remains distilled, hypnotic and strangely frozen in time. In Shaw’s words: “It recalls that what happened then is all too familiar now in today’s terrorized world.”
Influenced by a violent disturbance that took place on a street one night, Soul Snatcher Possession is a sculptural installation which portrays an ambiguous meeting of figures, the air taut with menace. It could be the scene of a ritual gangland killing or punishment beating. No weapon is visible, the perpetrators smile and gestures betray the moment just before some dreadful act is committed where fear fills the imagination.