Terence Coventry was born in Birmingham in 1938. He studied Fine Art at Stourbridge in 1954. Coventry completed his National Service in the RAF in 1959-61and was subsequently accepted by the Royal College of Art in 1961 to study painting, but left after a year and took up farming in west Cornwall. In 1985 he began to make sculpture his major activity, which was triggered by the vast amount of elm wood on his land that became available for carving as a result of Dutch elm disease. Terence Coventry lives and works in Cornwall.
Terence Coventry has exhibited his work widely in Britain. He has also undertaken several public commissions, including public sculptures for Soho Square in London, The Schiffer Sculpture Foundation, Philadelphia, USA, Predator (1992) for the Nature in Art Museum, Gloucester and Spiralling Rooks (1995) for St Keverne Health Centre. He has also recently undertaken a number of private commissions and participated in exhibitions Pangolin London One Man Show (2011), Stirred for a Bird (2010) and Sterling Stuff II (2008).
Coventry derives most of his stimulus for his work from farming. Rooted in a strong figurative tradition Coventry's sculpture explores forms familiar to him, such as bulls, birds, cows and boars and the human figure. Coventry also takes inspiration from the land, where its contrasts and changing atmosphere are detectable in the surface and texture of his animals and figures. To Coventry farming is a practical pursuit, requiring that the farmer, in addition to caring for his stock, must repair fences, gates and agricultural machinery, and tend the land. Coventry identifies similarities between farming and sculpture, through both disciplines integral need to problem solve construction issues. Coventry says: “It is elemental in the same way: one may not be dealing with clay but one is dealing with earth to a large extent. I get a tremendous amount of my inspiration for subject-matter from my association - for the greater part of my working life – with farming.”