What Motivates Terrance and his Work

Terrance Plowright 2020

Terrance Plowright

Terrance was born at Paddington in Sydney in 1949. He grew up in Blakehurst and is the oldest of 5 children. Terrance’s curiosity in the larger questions of existence, as well as an interest in classical music, began to develop as a young teenager. In 1966 he started work as a Copyboy for the Australian Women’s Weekly. During this same period, he was lead singer and rhythm guitarist in several bands, including a short stint privately, at the Sydney Conservatorium. In 1970 he began work and study as a Film Editor, with the Australian Broadcasting Commission.

During his early twenties, his growing interest in philosophy and spirituality significantly intensified. So, after 3 years working as a film editor for the ABC, he renounced all his commitments, then retreated into the mountains of Tasmania, where he spent 18 months, exploring silence, and pondering some of life’s big questions.

During 1974-75, Terrance’s interest in philosophy led him to live and work at the Findhorn Foundation in Northern Scotland. And, in 1976, he founded the “Awareness Centre” at Chatswood in Sydney, as well as teaching and lecturing extensively on “Human Potential”, and the “Profound Nature of Being”.

In 1978 he played a chief role in establishing the Homeland Foundation Trust, and as well, organised and directed a 6-week National Tour for Peter and Eileen Caddy, the founders of the Findhorn Foundation. Terrance also participated in the national tour, giving numerous workshops and lectures on the potential of the human spirit, and the profound relevance of not belonging to ideologies. He also explored the significance and beauty of finding stillness within our busy lives.

In 1978/79 Terrance went through a huge change in his view of New Age spirituality and associated philosophies, deciding to withdraw from the Homeland Foundation and Trust, the Awareness Centre, the Findhorn Foundation and all other related commitments. On leaving the Foundations in 1979, for the next 3 years, Terrance continued leading workshops and giving major talks, exploring consciousness, human potential and the profound beauty of existence. All subjects he believed were immediate and relevant, but not necessarily belonging or coupled to any ideology or particular spiritual philosophy.

In 1980, he spent a year living in the US where he attended lectures on Philosophy, some with the world renowned thinker and philosopher, J. Krishnamurti.

Early in 1982, a friend of Terrance, Paul Rigby asked Terrance to create a stained glass window for his new home. Terrance, never having cut glass nor designed an artwork, offered to give it a go and undertook the project.  It was from this point onward Terrance never looked back. He established his first studio at ‘The Glade’, Wahroonga in 1982/3 where he initially designed and created contemporary and ecclesiastical stained glass, and in 84 established a course, teaching glass art, twice weekly. His interest in the arts grew and a passion for sculpture, murals, water features etc., began to emerge in 1986/7. He received his first sculptural commission in 1987; designing and creating a 14 foot high, solid glass and granite sculpture, ‘Purity of Spirit’.

With his background and deep interest in music, philosophy, science and the relationships of living forms, Terrance works on developing themes in his art that attempt to reveal the interconnectedness and innate intelligence of all life and the profoundly powerful and beautiful nature of existence.

Terrance has designed and created many contemporary and figurative works, some over 80’ high, and 170’ long, as well as a number of sculptural water features, cenotaphs, murals and stained-glass windows. He has won and been awarded many commissions by councils, corporations, churches, State Governments and individuals.  Just recently, Terrance was awarded an ‘Order of Australia’ for his contribution to the arts. He has also been awarded a ‘Medici Medal’, twice, for his sculptural contributions to the Florence Biennale, the ‘President’s Award’ from the Sculptors Society of NSW, the ‘People’s Choice Award’ in the McClelland Survey, etc.

Kangaroo Press also published Terrance’s book ‘Stained Glass Inspiration and Designs’, launched by Hazel Hawke in 1993, which sold out 3 editions, including the original hardback edition.

Over the past 25 years, Terrance has employed welders, sheet metal workers, mould makers and trained numerous enthusiastic young artists. To date, all his sculptural works, both figurative and contemporary, as well as murals and mosaics have been constructed within his own studio, including most of his glass artwork. Terrance has extensive experience working with some of the most senior officials and administrators in the state, including the Governor and Premier of NSW, Cabinet Ministers, Senior Bureaucrats as well as many Senior Council Officials; leaders of large architectural and corporate enterprises; hydraulic, civil and structural engineers; bronze and stainless steel casting foundries, and local industries.

Terrance has now worked as an artist/sculptor for more than 35 years.  He is currently based in the Blue Mountains in NSW where he also lives with his beautiful wife Shirley. They have three children and 6 grandchildren.