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An online viewing of the exquisite paintings of my late husband Terence Michael Fyffe. An Australian Artist with a burning desire to lift hearts and minds to the beauty of the Divine – to God.
If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to tell you a story. The first time I was invited to view a selection of these paintings by Terence, we were not yet married or even engaged and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I refused this invitation and numerous ones that followed. I had no desire to ‘come by and see his etchings..’ as I thought perhaps that was a euphemism for something else….. something I was not remotely interested in!
However, it’s interesting how the Holy Spirit works (we would say), and that perhaps is another story, but suffice to say I could no longer resist this ‘prompting’ in my heart to see these paintings, as I believed it was important for me to do so, though I couldn’t articulate the exact reason why. So I went along for a private viewing, with an open mind and open heart.
Terence had painstakingly arranged 20 or more paintings in sequential order in this room full of paintings, with one chair in the centre of the room (for me), a glass of red wine and a plate of cheese and biscuits (also for me). I sat down and he began to show me these enormous paintings, bigger than me (and I’m 5ft 7 inches tall). Paintings of Jesus in the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, a part of the Catholic Christian Tradition of which we both shared.
The series captures the sequence of bible scriptures that describe Jesus’ final journey to death on the cross, after being arrested, beaten, mocked, denied by his friends and disciples, agonisingly having nails hammered through his hands and feet and tortured for hours and hours before finally dying………later to be resurrected and risen. As he showed me each painting in turn, with his detailed and very personal commentary about each one, I felt a lump forming in my throat and tears in my eyes.
When I saw the 3 panels of the triptych ‘Christ in Hell’, I felt as though I was intruding on a very personal, and intimate conversation between Terence and God; a private prayer and communication expressed by the exquisite painstaking detail of the paintings. Looking back, I think this was the beginnings of my love for him.
To think that Terence had been given such a gift from God to paint in this way…. well… I was completely blown away. The year we married in 2012, Terence started to paint his ‘New Work’, bringing his figurative style of Religious Paintings to a close and starting the ‘Painting the Light’ series and his ‘Cosmic Art’, in his words ‘painting the Holy Spirit in light’, which became his passion until he died in 2018. Of course, Terence chose to paint in many different styles over the course of his lifetime including a profound feeling for landscape and the great classical subject – the female nude. Several examples are featured in the online gallery, in no particular order.
I hope you enjoy spending time with the paintings in the online gallery. It has been a painful labour of love, one that isn’t quite finished, but has been a path of healing and restoration. Terence lived and breathed into his paintings, and it is my pleasure to provide this platform for everyone to see and play a part in his legacy by enjoying and buying his paintings.
I’d like to thank 3 incredible Angels – you know who you are – without them, their patience, love and generosity, I would not have arrived at this point, writing this introduction. I have no doubt that you were all sent by God (and perhaps Terence too) to help me journey along this path. I am eternally grateful. Thank you.
There are 3 things I’d like you to do. 1) Sign up to the Fyffe Paintings email list here: keep informed of developments and news. 2) Hit the ‘follow’ button at the very end of this page to be notified of new additions to this site and the blog/reflection page to follow. 3) Get in touch at email@example.com to share your stories about Terence and your favourite paintings, and where appropriate I’ll include them in the blog & reflection section. Use this email address to buy a painting from the online gallery as per the instructions at the top of the online gallery page.
There will be many people reading this who have bought one or more of Terence’s paintings over the years. It would be lovely to hear from you, and if you are open to the idea, perhaps share a photo of you with the painting to include in the Blog & Reflection page.
This is a work in progress but I am happy that this is a step in the right direction. I think Terence would be happy to see his collection all in one place for the world to see. I take comfort in that and I thank God for his life, the unique way in which he shared his fervent faith with everyone he met, and I’m thankful for our marriage with much adventure, meditation and laughter, and the effervescent gift of life that he was to me and so many others.
Enjoy reading Terence’s bio and story in his own words ‘Beyond Post Modernism’. The standard bio is included at the very end of this page.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I thank you in advance for being a part of Terence’s legacy.
Tessa Fyffe, Christmas 2019, London, England.
Hear from Terence in his own words about his ‘New’ Work, his ‘Cosmic’ Art, below Painting the Light Video
Learn about Terence’s Story
‘Beyond Post Modernism’ by Terence Fyffe, ‘Painting the Light’ Exhibition, September 2016
….. I had an ‘Epiphany’ that took me back to the beginning where I realised once more that the Modern Movement was beget by the influence of the Holy Spirit, the Zeitgeist, and that the purpose of Art is to ‘glorify God’, to offer a new view of the world, to be transcendent, to inspire people, to bring joy and peace and connect the viewer with their deeper mind (self)Terence Fyffe
“What we need today is New Art. Most people I know are tired and bored with ‘Art’ that is calculated to shock and undermine our inherited wisdom, with ‘Art’ that is designed solely to fit the market place. So much of the Post Modern ‘art’, the Conceptual ‘art’ of the last forty years nurtured by influential Art institutions seems to have engendered a blasé and cynical attitude in people and many feel it has debased Art and by consequence has debased us all. The argument is that it is not Art as we, and all previous cultures for millennia, around the world, have understood the term.
One of the ideas of the Deconstruction/Post Structuralism theories which gave rise to what we call Post Modernism, promulgated by such notable philosophers as Jacques Derrida and Michael Foucault (among others) and promoted by the likes of Jean Baudrillard is that “originality” in painting is no longer possible …. further developed to say that “Painting is Dead” and that all that was left for painters to do was pick over the bones of previous discoveries and the work of artists now deceased. That there was no longer anything new in painting. This, I believe is no longer true, though for a while I fell for the deception myself.
I had begun my career full of enthusiasm for Modern Art…….. inspired by the paintings and romantic stories of the Impressionists, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Picasso in his Cubist phase, Kandinsky, Robert Delauney….. artists forging toward a brave New World, having broken with the figurative tradition that extended backwards to Giotto or indeed the Greeks. As a young man I believed I had ‘something’ and as an Art student in Australia studying at Swinburne University in Melbourne under Jeffrey Makin and Roger Kemp I was ‘going places’.
Then something interesting happened. An acquaintance of mine, who was totally immersed in the Drugs Sex and Rock ‘n’ Roll Culture of those days had gone to India in search of cheap drugs. He was found overdosed, in a gutter, by Buddhist Monks who carried him back to their monastery and, in time, restored him. He returned to Australia a year or two later and came by my studio a completely transformed person, glowing in health, drug free and at peace.
Fuelled with curiosity, I accompanied him to meet these monks (who had come to Australia to set up a new monastery) and the now deceased and famous Lama Yeshe. I went to the Buddhist Monastery intending to stay two weeks and finished up staying more than six months, meditating ten hours a day.
I went to the Buddhist Monastery intending to stay two weeks and finished up staying more than six months, meditating ten hours a day.Terence Fyffe
Eventually I returned to Melbourne where it seemed things had changed………I had changed………the art world was in chaos……Pop Art, Op Art, Feminism, Minimalism, Post-Minimalism, Conceptualism, Land Art, Body Art, Performance Art, Graffiti Art and “Bad Painting”………. and the general consensus that Painting was Dead. Was this the inevitable conclusion of the Modern Project? Disillusioned, I thought of the heroes of the past …..Leonardo Da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Rembrandt van Rijn, Van Gogh. They had ‘something’. Their art seemed real and solid and enduring. Maybe I had lost my nerve……. the meditation which I continued to practise had certainly opened me up to every possibility…… I decided to increase my knowledge and skill and study the Old Masters. This is what brought me to England. “
Disillusioned, I thought of the heroes of the past Da Vinci, Botticelli, Van Gogh……I decided to increase my knowledge and skill and study the Old Masters. This is what brought me to EnglandTerence Fyffe
“For the next thirty years I studied the techniques of my heroes to master the intense attention to detail of the mediaeval artists like Jan Van Eyck, the glazing techniques of Titian, the expressive broad brush stroking of Francisco Goya, and gradually I did develop my own figurative style, winning the Discerning Eye with ‘Study for Portrait of the Artist as a Fool’ and enjoyed a moderately successful career as a figurative painter. My personal project culminating in a series of twenty five 6′ x 5′ paintings on the Passion of Christ.
Then towards the end of producing this series another interesting thing happened. Whilst painting the Resurrection event, using free, broad, colourful strokes to represent the transcendental light emanating from the Resurrected Christ…… I had an ‘Epiphany’ that took me back to the beginning where I realised once more that the Modern Movement was beget by the influence of the Holy Spirit, the Zeitgeist, and that the purpose of Art is to ‘glorify God’, to offer a new view of the world, to be transcendent, to inspire people, to bring joy and peace and connect the viewer with their deeper mind (self) that leads to contemplation of the great questions like “What is Reality?” “Where do we come from?” “Where are we going?” And that Art, Painting should reveal Beauty, and a beauty that has not been seen before. A moment of revelation!
That an artist only really contributes when the art is coming from the deepest part, from the spirit, from the soul. Not from the ego.
I returned to the work I had left off before going to the monastery, and embraced my original vision, empowered with the study I had done and some considerable experience of life and meditation. Now no longer emulating other artists or working in a derivative style. I believe in nature and the imagery we see coming via the Hubble telescope, the Liga project and the electron microscope. The advances of science mirroring the inner experience of the timeless wisdom of the sages. Studies in Neuroscience revealing the correlation between our perceptions of the structures and patterns of the outside world and our minds.
That true Reality is spiritual and does not change.
My new work hopefully points to the oneness of all creation, to our deep connection with the cosmos/nature and to each other. For me at least and I know that I am not the only one to think this, the Period of Post Modernism is over and we have entered a new phase where artists will create with confidence, authentic and original art, a time of increased awareness and Faith. My hope is this new art will resonate with all people regardless of their culture.
I am very happy to be showing this New Work.”
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Bio – Terence Fyffe
Terence was an Australian artist resident in England. Born Melbourne, Australia. Educated at St. Joseph’s College, Melbourne. Studied painting at Prahran College of Art, now Swinburne University Melbourne.
After leaving art school, travelled extensively throughout Central Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia retracing the steps of the early explorers and finally spending time studying traditional art with the Aborigines of Millingimbi Island, Darwin.
After moving to England, he established himself by coming to the attention of the art critics Dan Farson and Edward Lucie-Smith at the 1991 International Contemporary Art Fair. Since then Terence won numerous competitions including The Discerning Eye and Eastern Open.
- ‘The Pied Piper’, Alternative Arts, London
- ‘Studio Secrets’, Lamont Gallery, London
- ‘The Sunburnt County’, Lamont Gallery, London
- ‘The Artist as a Fool….and his Muse’, Lamont Gallery, London
- ‘The Passion of Christ’, Christ the Eternal High Priest Church, Havering, Essex
- ‘Painting the Light – an exhibition of ‘Cosmic’ Art’, 5th Base Gallery, London
- ‘Transformation’, St Stephen Walbrook, London (final show in May/June 2017)
- ‘Mail on Sunday’ Wall, International Contemporary Art Fair, Olympia, London
- ‘Quest for Beauty’ Exhibition, Miles Gallery, London
- Portobello Open, Tabernacle Gallery, London
- ‘Contemporary Christian Art, The Crypt Gallery, London
- Corr Gallery, London
- Art 95, Contemporary British Art Fair, Business Design Centre, London
- The Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London (1995 and 1996)
- Logos National Art Exhibition, Logos Gallery, London
- Open Landscape, Leeds Castle, Kent
- Eastern Open, King’s Lynn, Norfolk
- ‘On the Border’, Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich
- ‘Erotica’, The Erotica Gallery, Olympia, London
- Lamont Gallery Summer Show, London
- ‘Portfolio’, First Site, The Minories, Colchester
- 1999-2003 Contemporary British Art Fair, Business Design Centre, London
- Gallery Artists, Lamont Gallery, London
- Battersea Art Fair, Battersea, London
- Heart to Art, Steninge Slott Kulturcenter, Sweden
- 2002 – 2003 Australian Art in London, Australia House, The Strand, London
- New Australian Art, Lamont Gallery, London
Articles and Reviews
- ‘Wall to Wall Triumph’ Dan Farson, Mail on Sunday
- ‘Spiritual Material’ Dan Farson, Mail on Sunday
- ‘Best Exhibition of the Year’ David Lee, Art Review
- ‘Vandals Slash’ The Independent, Dalya Alberge
- ‘Article of Faith’ Dan Farson
- 1995 ‘ Paint it Red’ film by Mark Adely, Channel One
- ‘Only Fools’ David Lee, Art Review
- Evening Standard, Robin Sringer
- 1996 ‘Portrait of the Artist as a Fool’ Art Review Year Book
- 1999 Front cover of Art Review, Millennium Edition
- 2000 Artists Eye, Art Review
- 2001 Nicholas Usherwood, Galleries
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