Damian Shields was born in Toronto, Canada, on July 1 1970 and moved to Scotland when he was about three years old. The earliest influences on his artistic development were his father and late grandfather. His Liverpudlian father Dennis, a practising artist (like his father before him), had taught in higher education since graduating in sculpture from Ontario School of Art in the early 1970s. On his mother’s side, his Grandfather Silvio Rossi was also an artist and teacher. Being exposed to impressionism, abstract expressionism and sculpture in their work gave Damian an early grounding in the importance of form, line, composition and emotional response to the environment without and within.
Initially more at home with charcoal and oil paint, Damian began exploring the creative possibilities of photography in his mid-twenties. He acquired his first film camera (a cheap Miranda 35mm SLR) in 1992 and, during a portfolio presentation course at Strathclyde Arts Centre, became involved in darkroom processing and printing black-and-white film. This sparked the beginnings of a love affair with the medium which subsequently gained him acceptance to the Fine Art Photography department of the Glasgow School of Art, then headed by the renowned landscape photographer Thomas Joshua Cooper.
After three years with the department Damian was advised to move to graphics photography because of his “meddling” with an embryonic new piece of software called Photoshop, in which he saw the potential to be free of the constraints of manual darkroom processes. Instead, he opted to leave completely to pursue his interest in this emerging technology, and began studying electronic publishing at the Glasgow College of Building and Printing, where he continued to develop his skills in digital imaging. He has worked as a professional retoucher in the media industry for the last 12 years and is currently employed as a multimedia production journalist for The Glasgow Herald.…Read More