Philip Shaw

Masters | 2016

Philip Shaw

Shifting Positions

“In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth”.

– Rachel Carson (1907-1964), Marine Biologist

As a sculptor, with a natural affinity for modelling and shaping resistant materials, I am currently interested in how galleries and museums curate art and collections in relation to a person’s interaction with materials and art objects in those environments.

As a young man I was fascinated by what is still considered by museums and archivists to be worth exhibiting as great art and craft of the past, and, what these artefacts tell us about ourselves as members of the human race. And now, what fascinates me more, is what working with a malleable material such as clay can tell us about a creator’s state of mind, body and spirit; even to the point of a pre-warning of an undiagnosed physical and/or psychological problem that they may have – a process not unlike how the cultural artefacts of ancient civilisations inform us of the various collective states of mind, body and spirit through the work of their artisans and artists.

The material waste and the emotional memories of everyday living each of us produce are a treasure for the anthropologist and archaeologist; and, over time, our individual stories are being told; like grains of sand constantly moving from one position to another – moved by the natural forces of the world we live in.