Terence Coventry’s natural talent was recognised from an early age and he gained early admittance to Stourbridge School of Art where he was taught by Keith Leonard, who had been one of Barbara Hepworth’s studio assistants. He went on to study at the Royal College of Art but after his request to change from the painting to sculpture course was refused, Coventry left London to establish a career as a farmer on the South Cornish coast.
Subjugating his natural talent and ability for long hours on a tractor ploughing and harvesting, complete sculptural images repeatedly formed in Coventry’s mind. Eventually, these thoughts erupted into three dimensions - unencumbered by fashion or trend - to create sculptures that are intimately personal.
The power behind Coventry’s sculpture is his strong affinity with the subjects he creates and his work is rooted in a strong figurative tradition. His sculpture explores the animals familiar to him from his years farming such as birds, bulls, cows and boars, eloquently capturing their ruggedness
and gentleness, their movement and behaviour.
Inspired by Marino Marini, Giacomo Manzu and Lynn Chadwick, Coventry works in a range of materials from ferrous concrete and steel to bronze and silver whilst also being a skilful draughtsman and printmaker. Talking about the making processes for his sculpture he says:
A lot of what I do is about solving problems and the more knowledge you have of how you solved the previous problems the more you can apply them to the next ones. With steel in particular it’s about being conscious of what the practical possibilities are so that you can try and treat the medium with some sort of respect. Plaster is much more organic, you can manipulate it and make curves, whereas steel is more restrictive so there’s an inherent discipline to it. To counter this rigidity, I try to introduce a subtlety of message into the work that gives the viewers eyes a journey through the piece...I don’t expect the viewer to be aware of that but I feel very satisfied to get a subliminal structure, even on the plaster works, that leads the eye forward.
Coventry exhibits widely and his sculptures are held in many public and private collections around the globe. He lives and works in Cornwall and is represented by Pangolin.