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Terry Setch RA: Beneath The Surface

Terry Setch, Rock Pool I , 2013, 61 x 79 cm.

Exhibition preview

AN exhibition by Royal Academician Terry Setch will be the highlight of the exhibition calendar at Flowers in London this Spring, when a range of his works go on view at their Kingsland Road gallery from May 16 to June 21, 2014.

The exhibition, entitled Beneath The Surface, will feature several publicly unseen pieces, which will present a diversion from his usual techniques.

Among the majority of Setch’s large scale works will be those themed around the coast near Penarth in Wales, where Setch is based. These works act as a witness to his surroundings, in the literal sense via the materials he uses and the layers he creates within them, but also in the wider issues his art works often raise.

Setch is well-known for utilizing varying materials in his analysis and interpretation of the conflict between nature and society. His huge painted canvases are often augmented with materials and debris found on the beach, a combination of both man-made and natural matter.

This contrast in itself creates a tension, raising questions on pollution, mankind’s apathy, the forces of nature in the weathered objects, inadvertently representative of demise. This juxtaposes the notion that there is new life in the objects used to create such histrionic representations of the world around us.

Setch’s polygonal subject matter enables the onlooker to fully experience the world created within it, via the use of textured materials; such as encaustic wax, melted plastic and polypropylene, however it is not through realism, as his works require the viewer to suspend disbelief in order to fully experience what each piece evokes for them.

The artist’s new, more abstract pieces appear to present a fresh vision of the world, a return to innocence and a sense of rebirth, alongside good and bad progression of humankind. There is a subtext of realization where from personal experience, Setch touches on humanity, freedom of convention, open thought and active reaction.

The themes are more contemporary, yet recurring, always containing a thread of reinvention, as they throw up age-old theories and predicaments, but show how society views and deals with them differently today, some never to be solved and others progressing towards a solution. There is hope in these works, but also an acceptance of what is, and is not, humanly possible.

Flowers Gallery, Kingsland Road, London