TED HARRISON - Visual artist and writer
Ted divides his life between the two places he calls home - West Wales and Shetland. He worked for many years in broadcasting, first as a Radio 4 reporter and presenter, and subsequently as a television producer and director. He specialised in religious subjects and was for a while the BBC’s Religious Affairs Correspondent.
At the age of 60 he made a major career change and became an art student. He was awarded an MA in Fine Art and began working as an artist - developing what he has called a visual theology. Ted has a PhD in theology, 'but after years of employing words to try and explore matters of faith' he says, 'I decided that the way forward should be word-less. It is arguments over religious words and their meanings that seem to cause the greatest divisions, even (or especially) within the Christian faith.
'The reality of God is beyond words. The role of the artist is to find glimpses of the ineffable and express them in such a way that they can be shared with others. The creative process is a form of prayer.'
Ted works in a wide range of media. 'I enjoy the feel of charcoal and the fun of manipulating paint’, but he has also designed sculptures to be cut industrially from steel and has constructed large-scale installations - 'the most exciting being one under the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral'. He made a wall sculpture of a cherry tree for Guy’s Hospital in London to honour organ donors and mark the 25th anniversary of his own renal transplant. He also illustrated the Revd Richard Coles’ two books on improbable saints. For his local church (St John’s, Unst) he made a work for the bell tower which reflects the ever-changing quality of the Shetland light. His series of 15 paintings of iconic images of modern conflicts ‘Sins of the World’ was the 2017 Lent exhibition at Gloucester Cathedral and then went to St Bride’s Church, London.
And in parallel with his two careers, as broadcaster and artist, he has been a writer with 30 books published, the latest exploring the growing posthumous fame of Elvis Presley!