Terry W Scales
Born: 1947 in North Harrow, London
Education and training 1966-1971
Terry Scales studied Fine Art Sculpture at Hornsey College of Art from 1966 to 1968. He became a student activist and one of the student union representatives of the Fine Art Department in 1967. As a result of the Student Union’s action in 1968 to try to save Hornsey College from amalgamation into a larger institution, which culminated in a very effective six month occupation of the College, Terry and 13 other activists was summarily sent down.
One of the consequences of the 1968 student action was that professional artists like Sir Henry Moore and tutors at Hornsey supported the students’ objectives. Following a successful campaign, those who had been victimised were reinstated.
Terry was able to continue his studies and moved to Goldsmiths College where he trained under Ivor Robert Jones, who sculpted Sir Winston Churchill. He also trained at Space Structure Workshop in Southwark with the constructivist artists and Sikken’s Prize winners, Peter Jones and Maurice Agis.
After receiving a Dip.Ad. Fine Art in 1971, Terry was awarded a position at the Multimedia Department at the Royal College of Art. However, he decided against accepting the offer and instead continued to develop his participatory environmental sculptures and performance work at Space Structure Workshop.
Art works 1970–1986
Under the title Interplay Structures, Terry’s work was first exhibited at a group outdoor show called the Market 70 Exhibition of Public Art in Marylebone. This was followed by A Play On Art at the Whitechapel Gallery and then a solo show at the Geffrye Museum in 1973 titled Matrix, a Colour Light Environment.
Articles about the work of this generation of communitarian artists appeared in the magazines Studio International and Art and Artists. Terry rapidly became established as one of the leading figures in the group and over the next ten years and more his work was regularly exhibited at major art festivals throughout the UK.
From 1972 he was successfully appointed as Artist in Residence by the local authorities in Rainham (Essex), Hammersmith (London) and the Digswell Arts Trust (Hertfordshire). These residencies were funded by the Greater London Arts Association and the Eastern Arts Association.
From 1974–1985 his innovative work on the development and use of technology within arts was recognised through annual awards from the Arts Council of Great Britain.
In 1978 Terry established the Touring Theatre of Pneumatic Art as a touring arts team and successor to Interplay Structures. Funded by the Eastern Arts Association, the company included the writer and musician David Townsend Jones as administrator/manager and the graphic artist Roger Hutchinson as a studio assistant.
TTPA, as the company fondly became known, was developed as a unique multimedia touring theatre company of artists working with musicians, dancers and technicians through which Terry was able to develop and exhibit his environmental installations and performance work for over a decade.
The company exhibited in the UK and Europe, and for its final show in 1986 it represented the United Kingdom at the Singapore International Arts Festival.
Artworks exhibited and performed by TTPA included:
The Mandarah series of colour, performance and sound environments.
The Matrix Plane-space colour-light performance structure.
The Matrix Cupola Laser Dome commissioned for the Liverpool International Garden Festival
The Battle of Moonquake, a popular science fiction dance for open spaces
Altarpiece and Altarpiece Automated, two constructivist dance performances for public spaces. The first was commissioned for the de Lantaaren Festival in Rotterdam
Spheres of Influence, an outdoor ballet based on a fable interpreting sub-particle physics. The ballet, written and directed by Terry Scales, was commissioned for the International Youth Year in 1985. It was performed at the Edinburgh International Arts Festival, Manchester Festival and Singapore International Arts Festival.
Art workshop projects 1973–1986
Between 1973 and 1979, Terry, under the Interplay Structures banner, led a series of arts workshop projects in London (the Interplay-Hammersmith Project), Essex (the Rainham Fellowship) and Hertfordshire (the Interplay-Welwyn Garden City Project for the Digswell Arts Trust). These projects were funded by the Greater London Arts Association and the Eastern Arts Association.
In 1980 Terry was invited by North West Arts, with the encouragement of the Arts Council of Great Britain, to move to Manchester, where he set up base from 1980–1986 and established the Manchester Arts and Technology Workshop as an arts workshop based on the Arts Lab and Bauhaus concepts.
With the backing of North West Arts, the Granada Foundation and the Manpower Services Commission, the Manchester Arts and Technology Workshop developed rapidly, undertaking many public commissions and representing the UK at the Singapore International Arts Festival in 1986. Stephen Kingston from North West Spanner joined the company to manage TTPA’s continuing programme of touring show, including the international festival in Singapore.
From the 1970s onwards the series of arts workshop projects provided training and work experience for unemployed people, including commissions for the Royal Ballet Company, the Paris Opera, the Liverpool International Garden Festival and Manchester City Council.
In 1986 the Matrix Cupola commission for the Liverpool International Garden Festival drove TTPA Ltd into liquidation after sponsorship funding was withdrawn at the last minute. The arts workshop project in Manchester was also forced into closure.
As a consequence the unique creative work developed by Terry for over a decade came to a halt when bankruptcy forced him to work for two years for his main supplier creditor Mitco Peck Ltd of Wigan in order to clear his debts.
Commercial work 1986–1999
For Terry the difficulties of surviving personal bankruptcy were compounded by political changes in the country, which led to a collapse in public funding for the arts. In 1986 he moved to Warrington and started working commercially, setting up Air Apparent Studios as a design consultancy working with industry to develop innovative fabric structures.
He also established an enterprise allowance scheme working with a local upholsterer. This project evolved into Soft Brick Kit Ltd, a manufacturing company producing his own original designs for children’s indoor play structures. He is still a minority shareholder in Soft Brick.
In 1989 Terry moved to Swansea in South Wales with his partner Marian when she was appointed principal of Briton Ferry Special School. He became politically active locally and continued to draw and paint and run a weekly local life class.
Having moved to South Wales he was invited to join a design and marketing group, Leisure by Design, based in Abergavenny, for which he worked until 1993 designing air structure developments for projects in Italy and Spain and for Disney in the USA.
During the same period Manchester City Council continued to commission him to develop public large-scale city centre displays.
Creative work and exhibitions 2003-
Light in Life, the title of Terry W Scales’ current and ongoing work, is a continuing exploration of colour and light presented as:
llluminaria: overlays of abstract light forms creating constructed light-scape compositions.
Digital light image prints.
Life images : a series of figurative paintings.
Exposure Gallery, Swansea, 2003.
Signature Gallery, Mumbles, 2005.
The Winter Gallery, Mumbles, 2006.
The Dylan Thomas Centre Gallery, Swansea, 2007-8.
The Galleria, Civray, France, 2009.
Pierre Tal-Coat Gallery, Hennebont, Brittany, France, 2013.