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ART & LIFE: the work of Constructivist artist Terry w Scales

From 1970s Experimental Public Art to 2020s Post Modern Naturalism

From 1970s Experimental Public Art to 2020s Post Modern Naturalism


For over a decade after leaving art school, my work was primarily concerned with colour in space, exploring structures and images of light transmitted or reflected, which we often experience daily in urban environments.

This creative research is my slow-burning passion, a constructivist approach, often expressing social issues, presented as abstract colour compositions in two- and three-dimensional multimedia formats.

My passion is, and always has been, to explore new sources of visual expression. I hope you find the work stimulating.


Current work. EXPLORATION OF GROWTH AND FORM the inner strength of wood … and a time for reflection and renewal

We do not see the wood for the trees
Torn Wood – grain composition. photo print, 2022

Since 2017, I have become powerfully aware of the inherent beauty, strength, and dynamic structures within the grain, growth and form of the trees that dominate the hedgerows and woodland around me.  

I am focusing on their growth and form, concentrating on the powerful patterns in the grains of maturing trees, shaped by gravity and all the influences of the world around them – weather, soil, rock, nourishment and man. Their strength duly represents their determination to survive. 

As an artist, for me, they offer a dramatic and relentless natural beauty. Hence, the theme of my most recent work and upcoming exhibition is titled, ‘We refuse to see the wood for the trees’. 

It is a surprise to return full circle to the source of inspiration in my earliest work on soft geometry environments, seen from a totally different perspective.

2000 – UNNATURAL NATURE digital landscapes in rural France reflecting the dry summer heat, and extensive landscape patterns of industrialised agriculture

Unnatural Nature - Seeing Red 2018 Copyright Terry W. Scales.
Seeing Red (Copyright Terry W Scales 2017)

In 2008, I moved to rural France to build my studio workshop. Inevitably, being further south, there is a distinctly different intensity of sunlight. My colour work, therefore, changed accordingly and became more graphic, reflecting the intense summer light across the landscape, which clearly exaggerates the contrasting deep shadows depicting the hectares of patterned agricultural landscapes that dominate the local manmade countryside.


The 1990s – 2018 LUMINARIA colour light-scapes of incidental light transmitted and projected across the environment.

My life exhibition - Light-scapes, the Magnitude is Green by Terry W. Scales
The Magnitude is Green (Copyright Terry W. Scales)

In the 1990s, living by the sea in South Wales, I began experimenting with abstract colour light compositions initiated by the exceptional luminosity of the natural coastal light.

Luminaria - Soft Shoulders Tryptic 1
Soft Shoulders – Tryptic 1

Dramatic light compositions spill continuously across our urban and domestic environments, triggered by the increasing use of highly polished and glazed surfaces.

These dynamic abstract images provided me with an extensive sketch book of compositions that I worked on as overlays of transparencies, creating a three-dimensional abstract world of light-scapes exhibited as Luminaria.


Early work: 1970s and 80s developing EXPERIMENTAL PUBLIC ART and exploring the use of plastics as a creative material.

Since leaving art school in 1971, and for over a decade, my work was principally concerned with colour defined by movement in space. Exploring new structural forms, I developed colour environments and agit-prop performance work, presented as experimental public art and exhibited in open public spaces, parks and festivals throughout the UK and internationally between 1971 and 1987.

MATRIX & MANDARAH environments
Altarpiece Automated & Spheres of Influence performances

What is Constructivism Art?

Constructivism art is a modern art movement that emerged in Russia during the early 20th century. It was heavily influenced by ideas of the Russian Revolution and Marxist revolutionary theory, which placed an emphasis on creative autonomy, individuality, and self-expression. This artistic style focused on the objective truth of the physical world rather than relying on subjective emotions or imagination.