" In 2005, I bought a studio property in Greece in the eastern Argolid in the Peleponnese and have, before and since, been painting sacred sites there and in the UK for the last 20 years. These are landscape locations which have spiritual resonance and contexts in Trizinia, the birthplace of Theseus and home to Hippolytus and the tragic Phaedra and in West Cornwall, centred on St Just and the region of a number of Celtic Saints. They are locations which still have visual evidence of the journey from matriarchal religions to Greek Orthodoxy in Trizinia and from the ancient Celtic earth goddess (Maeve, Mab, Madge) to the early Celtic Church and modern Christianity…more recent paintings have been of what were originally sacred pagan sites celebrating the land of the Goddess and later adopted by the Celtic Church. For example, St Nectan’s Glen, now thought to be the fourth most visited revered site in the UK near Tintagel, or St Nonna’s Well in Pelynt, dedicated to the Celtic Saint who was raped and subsequently gave birth to St David, patron saint of Wales…The Celtic connections are embedded in my childhood memories (my mother grew up in Wales in the farm frequented by J D Innes and Augustus John) and paintings of the sacred wells and chapels of this Celtic world are very much part of my more recent work...Ultimately, however, it is the extraordinary quality of light, and the power of the landscapes which make me paint them. These are what originally took me to Greece and Cornwall and keep me going back. "
David Shutt 2017
ABOUT DAVID SHUTT
The single most formative influence on David Shutt's life was visiting L S Lowry at his house, which was near his family home, a number of times around 1960 as a school boy. It was Lowry who first made David Shutt aware that one could be an artist and encouraged him to bring some of his paintings to his house and talked to him about them.
Born in West Kirby, The Wirral, in 1945, David Shutt followed Lowry's advice and applied to do the Manchester Foundation Course (1964) where he was taught by Adrian Henri. Henri was very supportive but Shutt was particularly predisposed by Lowry to respond to the aesthetics of the Euston Road School whose ex-teachers and pupils he met as an undergraduate at Leeds University (1968) in Quentin Bell and Lawrence Gowing and as a post-graduate in William Coldstream and Euan Uglow at the Slade (1979). It was there Shutt also met Patrick George and Patrick Symonds, both substantial influences on his work. The most particular and focussed teaching he experienced however was from Norman Norris.
After leaving the Slade, Shutt became a visiting tutor at a number of London art schools but continued to work from the figure in a studio made available for ten years at the London College of Printing. Euan Uglow used to call in on his way to the Slade and look at Shutt's current painting.
It was from Patrick Symonds and his extraordinarily personal approach to art education that Shutt was able to apply to his own work and teaching, which led to him becoming Head of the Art and Design Department at Canterbury Christ Church University.
Following the position at Canterbury, Shutt moved to Greece for ten years, devoting himself fully to his practice. He has recently spent increasingly more time in the UK, in Cornwall and Kent.