Terence Coventry’s ‘Monumental Gannet Head’ sits majestically on its small bronze base, alert to the landscape and very much a part of it. It continues the language of formal geometric lines and flat planes that Coventry has developed to express avian forms.
This bronze head is pleasingly tactile - its surface, textured with swirls and scratches, emphasising the hand that made them. To look at these forms is to catch a glimpse of what Terence feels about birds. It tells a story of relationships. He knows birds from life, having worked as a farmer for 30 years before turning to sculpture.
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. 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.