Columbia Threadneedle Prize 2016

Tim Shaw

Tim Shaw

Tim Shaw

Photo Credit: Nik Strangelove


“Artwork that skilfully and imaginatively articulates interesting ideas, thoughts and feelings about what it is to be alive …”

“Work that possesses a life force of its own… work that has ‘that something’ which stops the viewer in their tracks.”

“Like everything we do in life, art is also about mastering the medium to create great things, making things well… So yes, that unfashionable often demonised, misunderstood word ‘craft’ is very important.”

The sculptor Tim Shaw (born 1964 in Belfast) attracted wide attention for his installation entitled Casting a Dark Democracy, depicting the unrelenting horror of the Abu Ghraib Jail in Baghdad, first exhibited at the Kenneth Armitage Foundation during his fellowship there in 2007-9. 

His work is often political in nature, as well as being both mythical and metaphysical.  He works across a range of different mediums and scales, creating single forms as well as multi-sensory installations utilising sound and smell.  Connecting these elements is a sense that the work relates to both ancient and modern humanity.

He has shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions in London and further afield and his work is in several prestigious collections.  In 2008 he won the FBA Selectors Choice prize in the first-ever Threadneedle Prize exhibition with a wax sculpture entitled Tank on Fire.  Public commissions include The Rites of Dionysos for the Eden Project, which depicts a multi-figured, life size, copper beaten Bacchanal and the fifteen foot bronze Drummer, which stands in Truro’s principal square.  Most recently, The Riflemaker Gallery hosted an immersive installation entitled Soul Snatcher Possession depicting the taking of life by those in power.  He has worked as a resident artist in Greece (British School at Athens), Spain (Delfina Studio Trust Award) and has lived and worked in Cornwall for many years. 

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