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Indepth Arts News:

"Terry Setch, A Retrospective"
2001-03-04 until 2001-04-07
Royal West of England Academy
Bristol, , UK United Kingdom

Terry Setch is renowned for his observation and depiction of the pollution, detritus, and rubbish which litters the beach near his studios in Cardiff and Penarth. The subject of recent media programmes, Setch continues to attract attention with his controversial, large scale works which often include 'beach finds' embedded in the plastic and pigmented surfaces.

Setch's art has developed as a means of expressing his relationship with the beach and his experience of it, in particular the processes of metamorphosis which are evident in the landscape. Such changes may be sudden and transient. For example, when rain or mist dissolve the view. Other transformations in the landscape are more gradual: the result of opposed elements in a continuous state of exchange. The beach is a place where land and sea come together. Its appearance records the perpetual dialogue between earth and water. The sea erodes the headland which spills its shattered masses onto the beach. These mingle with man-made rubbish washed up by the tide. All kinds of objects are visible: tangles of fishing line; plastic bottles and bags; bits of furniture, clothing and carpet; fragments of push-chairs and cookers; even rusting car bodies which have been pushed over the edge of the headland. As a result of weathering these synthetic intrusions in the landscape undergo an imperceptible but inevitable process of transmutation. Simultaneously sand, rocks and detritus are bonded together and fixed, repeatedly buried and unearthed, or constantly shifted by the incessant tide.

Setch finds this conjunction of the synthetic and the natural, and the transformation of one by the other, aesthetically and intellectually stimulating. The implications of this attitude are complex. In one way Setch sees amidst this chaos the formation of an alternative order predicated on dissonance. He delights, for example, in the 'family of forms' which joins objects thrown together randomly. At another extreme, the presence of synthetic objects on the beach focuses, for Setch, the question of man's relationship with the landscape and with nature in general. In this way, such pollution manifests impending ecological disaster: the evidence of a society at odds with its environment. Setch's art occupies the ground between these poles.

Quote from the essay by Paul Moorhouse.
Terry Setch: New Work 1982-92

Terry Setch
Internettide@: Global Warming 2000
top panel of 3;
top 1 x 3 m:
centre 0.9 m x 1.52 m;
bottom 1.52 x 0.9 m
computer generated ink jet print

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