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On the surface of Tim Shorten’s work, you may consider it to emanate nostalgia and romance, however surprisingly, this is not intentional. It is a fictional product of his imagination that was awoken by his potent childhood memories: “Train travel seemed very exciting and glamorous to me as a child, and the recent works based on railway stations evoke hazy recollections of those early experiences. I certainly don’t paint actual childhood memories, but I accept that I might be subconsciously recreating – or just creating – a world which I imagine existed back then. I’m in my fifties now, and the 1960s shaped who I am.”
He has often been considered a ‘realist’ painter, however Tim states that the images he creates are, ‘ironically, more about a sort of artificiality than reality’. Similar to novelists or film makers, his work is fictional in its depiction of places that generally don’t exist, but that are made with the intention they are believable.
His aim is for his work to be timeless. This is realised for two reasons; Firstly because the universal emotion of the scenes he depicts is recognised by adults of all ages and time periods, and, secondly because his work will not ‘date’ like those that reference the present day. “The fashions of the post-war years are constantly being revived and rejuvenated by successive generations, and have thus become timeless. Therefore, the images I compose could easily have originated at any point during my lifetime. What existed fifty years ago might still exist, whilst the reverse is clearly not true.”
Influenced by the likes of Edward Hopper, Stanley Spencer and David Hockney, Shorten’s previous exhibitions include the Singer and Freidlander, Sunday Times Watercolour Competition and the Royal Cambrian Academy Summer Exhibition.