Phil Shaw was born and brought up in the West Yorkshire woollen and engineering town of Huddersfield. He studied painting at Leeds Polytechnic and went on to study printmaking at the Royal College of Art. In 2000 he was awarded a Doctorate in Printmaking from Middlesex University, where he has taught since 1980.
"I’ve always been fascinated by the possibility of creating the impossible. In life we all know deep down that magic just ain’t possible, but at the same time we all wish that just once something magical might happen. Just beyond the surface of a picture, the membrane that separates reality from fiction, we are able to experience the impossible. My world, the world beyond the picture plain, abounds with strange coincidences, contradictions and paradoxes; it’s where I live.
My world is a place where humour is a serious matter, and it’s purpose is not simply to raise a laugh but to call attention to the puzzling absurdities and the dangerous myths, that permeate all our lives."