Time, Place and Organic Matter: Three Projects by Theo Shields

London-based Welsh artist Theo Shields (born 1991) explains his interdisciplinary practice as an investigation “into the changing states of organic matter and its relationship to time and place”. His work encompasses sculpture, photography, moving images and installation. Theo – who studied at Edinburgh College of Art (2011-14), Queensland College of Art, Australia (2012-13) and Art Foundation in Coleg Menai, North Wales (2010-1011) – uses simple and basic stuff for his projects…iron, glass, ice, fire. His creations respond to the visual and tactile textures of the landscape around him.

Theo Shields

Below you will find three interesting projects from the artist: “Identity Loss”, “Internal Space” and “Slump” that, respectively, deal with fading faces, strange shapes conjured out of air, and random arrangements and collisions of different types of matter. Some of the themes that emerge are the inevitable erosion of the body, the formlessness and emptiness of the space above and around us, and the gravity that binds everything.

Theo’s exhibitions include: Oak and Iron, New Glasgow Society, Glasgow (2015); Oak and Iron, The Art Shed Collective, Edinburgh (2015); Theo Shields, Generator Projects, Dundee (2015); The Coast Festival of Art, Banf (2015); Pure Response, The Hold Artspace, Brisbane (2013); Finite, Web Space Gallery, Brisbane (2013). He has received critical acclaim from The Edinburgh Visual Artist Award, The Scottish Sculpture Workshop, The Astaire Art Prize, Wai Wales in Venice, Visual Arts Scotland and The Hope Scott Trust Award. In 2016, he became an associate artist at Open School East, an alternative study program specialising in collaboration, public programming and socially engaged practice. 

Links: Website (www.theoshields.com) | Saatchi Art (www.saatchiart.com/theoshields) | Twitter (@theoshieldsart)

Images used with permission.


Installation, cast plaster, ​Edinburgh College of Art (2012)

A mould is taken from the artist’s face which is then cast in plaster. A mould is then taken from the cast and the process is repeated. As the process is repeated each version loses detail and features are lost.





Installation, COASTIVAL Festival of Art, Scarborough (2014) and Edinburgh College of Art (2014)

Blown glass in fire hollowed tree trunks.






Exhibition, Studio 13, Open School East, London (2016)

A collection of playful material “murmurations” in glass, steel and found drawings. By orchestrating collisions of matter, Theo manipulates form with heat, gravity and chance to challenge the physicality of the ground beneath our feet.