Art from i/o – Tim Shaw

A short film about the work of the artist Tim Shaw, whose piece ‘The Burning of Lifting the Curse, 2022’, photography by Steve Tanner accompanies the release of Peter Gabriel’s song ‘The Court’.

The work was originally created to literally lift the curse the was issued to the Royal Academy and its members by the artists Gilbert & George, but is also addresses a wider gathering of dark forces with particular reference to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The ritual burning was Royal Academy member Shaw’s visceral and robust response to them both.

‘Tim Shaw is a great artist whose work is powerful, political and shamanistic,’ says Peter. ‘He has often dealt with tough themes such as war and torture. He grew up in Belfast so experienced the fear and reality of seeing violence around him, which I am sure must have made a deep impression. 

This particular image has an unusual story attached, but I just responded to the photograph of this very strange figure that was being ritualistically burnt. The story behind it, I only discovered afterwards.’ 

‘I don’t know why that particular image was chosen for this track,’ says Tim Shaw ‘but thinking about it, it could be that when you look at the figure perhaps it stands there to be accused, judged and in this case it’s burnt as a punishment process that takes place.’

A Real World film by York Tillyer
Tim Shaw interview by Linda Ross
Peter Gabriel interview audio by Dom Shaw

Thanks to Tim Shaw.

Excerpts from the film ‘The Burning of Lifting the Curse’ and archive photography courtesy of Tim Shaw

The credits for the film The Burning of Lifting the Curse are as follows:
Thanks to everyone who made the film documentation of a ritual burning something very special.
Film and editing Kane Machin
Film and photography Daniel D’Silva
Photography Steve Tanner
Camera Operator Matthew Bramhall
Drone Operator Roger Elletson
Sound Nick Cook
Sound Editing Dave Wisdom
Colourist Michael Todd
VFX Artist Jordan Cottingham
Assistance Steve Jarvis Claire English Bex Bourne
‘Groung’ performed by Dina Ipavic
The Mysteries Frater Ky Bras Lyn Andrews Bex Bourne Dave Wisdom Lisa Wisdom
Bearer of the Ashes Steve Jarvis
Special thanks to Michael Polkinhorn who provided hallowed ground on which to burn Lifting the Curse, to Anima Mundi Gallery for their support and to all who attended The Burning and generously donated to the Ukraine Appeal.