Dublin-born Terry Corcoran attended the National College of Art in the 60s. While a student, he won awards in drawing at the Royal Dublin Society student show, and a Browne Thomas prize for stained glass. After college he worked for the well-known Murphy Devitt stained glass studio, designing windows for churches and private homes.
In 1969 he traveled to the U.S. and settled in California. There he continued in stained glass work as well as painting. He also began sculpting in wood, creating a series of sculptures called River Sticks. Made from flat boards, the artist describes them as “a waterfall from heaven to earth.”
Terry returned to live in Ireland in 1991, making his home in Co. Wicklow. During the 1990s he continued sculpting in wood, creating a series of sculptures he refers to as “the Heart of the Matter.” He also developed a pigment made from the ash of turf, a traditional source of fuel in Ireland that is still in use today. He incorporated this pigment into a large series of paintings based on the bog lands, and the ancient preserved human remains that have been unearthed from them. With these paintings Terry mounted a very successful exhibition—“Excavations and Exchanges”—with his artist brother, Austin Corcoran, at Webster University, St. Louis, in 1994, which was supported by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs.
While living in Ireland, Terry exhibited regularly there, and completed a number of stained glass commissions. His paintings reflect his ever-present, but lately growing interest in the spirituality of creativity. A highly successful exhibition in 2001 at the Courthouse Arts Centre in Co. Wicklow was titled “Axis Mundi” for the mystical notion of the unity of above and below, heaven and earth, soul and body. Paintings made in 2005 and 2006 (“Windows” and “Simple Symbols”) were more directly symbolic rather than imagistic or expressionistic, and explored the potential of the paintings and the symbols they represent as objects of meditation, pathways to the divine.
In 2007 Terry moved back to the US. That year he made and
exhibited a series of paintings called “The Sète Set” which
was inspired by a visit to Sète on the French Mediterranean
coast, home of Paul Valéry. The twelve paintings are each
titled with a line from Valéry’s poem “The Graveyard by the
Sea”. Over 2008-2009 Terry continued exhibiting in St. Louis and
in Ireland with the series “Horizons”. (Artist's website)
12” x 12”
Mixed media on board