Terry Setch RA was born in 1936 in Lewisham, London
He studied at Sutton and Cheam School of Art, 1950-54 and Slade School of Fine Art 1956-60.
He was elected a Royal Academician May 2009 and a Senior Royal Academician October 2011
He lives in Penarth, Wales and draws inspiration from his surroundings. Employing diverse materials, he explores the tensions between society and the natural world. The painted surfaces of his large-scale works are often amplified with found matter, which articulates an atmosphere of elemental and emotional turmoil.
Although Setch’s small scale paintings, prints and drawings are more literal, they are rooted in the same Romantic tradition.
For more than 60 years I have been painting landscapes, for the last 50 years I have been recording the changes brought about by new industrial developments, lifestyle changes, wealth management and new social mores. I have been using the pollution of the local beach, particularly the plastic detritus, as my major subject since the mid 1970s, long before concern about the damage caused by the ubiquitous, non-biodegradable plastic became widespread in this country.
Sarah Kent wrote, “The beach, a messy and polluted burial ground, is seen as the site of social and moral conflict where opposing forces and interests do battle - where the sea assaults the land, industrial growth encroaches on nature, and exploitation encounters conservation. There is rage in Setch’s pictures. Their ugliness not only challenges good taste but is a statement of disgust at the negligence of industrial society.” Flash Art, London. Summer 1983
Monica Petzal wrote, “These are paintings to get lost in; there is a wealth of possible meaning and interpretation - there is no right way of looking at them. As evidence of one person’s attempt to bring his personal reality into form which is unified, accessible and powerful, they hold meaning for us all.” Time Out, London. 24 September 1982,
These observations are germane today and encapsulate my thinking. As an artist I continue to use conventional art materials and I incorporate detritus flotsam and jetsam, found objects and include new and recycled modern building materials. I observe daily what happens on the people's beach.
I have to follow my own path: I am not a ‘joiner’ or part of an ‘ism’. I have tried to create an identity that is my own.
The Royal Collection
The Tate Gallery
National Museum and Galleries of Wales
Victoria and Albert Museum
Welsh Arts Council
Arts Council of Great Britain
Contemporary Arts Society of Wales
Wakefield City Art Gallery
Contemporary Arts Society
Northampton Art Gallery
University College London
University College of Wales, Aberystwyth
Rugby Borough Council
University College of Wales, Swansea
British Council Museum of Modern Art, Lodz, Poland
Cardiff County Council
Normal College, Bangor
Glamorgan Education Authority
Glynn Vivian Museum & Art Gallery, Swansea
Leicestershire Education Authority
Ceredigion County Council
Aberdeen City Council