Tim Shaw Lifting The Curse

Tim Shaw's 'Fág An Bealach (Clear The Way)'

Ani­ma Mun­di are delight­ed to present the con­fronta­tion­al solo exhi­bi­tion by British artist and Roy­al Aca­d­e­mi­cian Tim Shaw

This ambitious and pertinent exhibition brings together seemingly disparate strands from a number of Shaw’s most recent multimedia sculptural and installation projects and presents them together under one physical and metaphorical roof.

Shaw is an artist schooled in the timeless traditions of heavy metal casting and academic modelling, however his approach to materials and subject matter are entirely current, often incorporating sound, light and FX to immersive effect. Shaw’s affecting works are often dualistic fusing contemporary allegories of societal conflict and human complexity with enduring mystical, mythical, metaphysical, spiritual and primal concerns in attempt to capture a wider sense of reality. The tensions between nowness and the ancient and between solidity and disintegration, are an organic part of his worldview, whether he’s looking at the atrocities of conflict or the transgression or enlightenment of ritualism.

On the ground floor of the gallery, visitors are invited to gather for the monologue given by an animatronic ‘Clown’, the protagonist from ‘The Birth of Breakdown Clown’. The piece, which was created during Shaw’s one year fellowship at the Kate Hamburger Kolleg in Bonn, Germany and later exhibited as part of Shaw’s major solo exhibition ‘Beyond Reason’ at San Diego Museum of Art, integrates sculpture with robotics and artificial awareness. Displayed on the ground floor of the gallery, The ‘Clown’ is an androgynous being who plays a powerful role in a prophesised society perhaps similar to that of a priest or shaman. The extraordinary sculpture provokes a questioning as to what lies at the core of the human condition and what is the nature or essence of existence, in relation to moral conflicts facing the world today. Through its use of robotics, the project further examines the digital age, reflecting upon how quickly we have become reliant on digital technology and how this has evolved our behaviour and perception of the nature of reality. Anima Mundi are delighted to be exhibiting the work for the first time in the UK.

The exhibition title was solidified during a recent research trip as part of the mummers project. Shaw states “I interviewed a mummers troop in the north of Dublin - it was here that I first became aware of the words ‘Fág an Bealach’, an old battle cry of Irish origin. In the tradition of the mummers play it begins when the first character, named ‘Enter In’, is called to create room for the enactment to take place. An impresario then sets foot in to the household uninvited shouting “Fág an Bealach” - his job is to clear space for the arrival of the troop – his call demands a clearance of the path ahead.”
Tim Shaw Lifting The Curse
Installation Sculpture