‘Connor Shields’ work is an enquiry into nature of maleness through the use of dichotomous materials such as steel, knitted wool and fabrics. These materials act as signifiers of traditional binary associations with gender and working class industries. Originating from Middlesbrough and graduating from Leeds in 2018, Shields draws on his Northern heritage and fuses it with timely concerns of male identity. He does so in a way that avoids common tropes of gender political art; favouring ambiguity over prescription. Defying assumptions of strength and vulnerability and possessing a sense of sensitivity and lyricism, his work invites meditative contemplation.
In a short space of time Shields has created a body of work which resonates deeply in our current socio-political climate with depth which requires unpacking.’ – After View.