Aidan Shingler was born in London and now lives in Derbyshire.
He has worked as an artist, writer and activist (or as he prefers to decribe himself, Reality Tester) for four decades. He conceived and organised the Kiss it! XX Campaign – a series of national protests to expose human rights violations in the psychiatric system. He co-authored On the Receiving End which was published to highlight the emotional and psychological impact of psychiatric assault and call for radical reform of the mental health system.
He is author of Psyche – the visionary potential of unusual states of consciousness, published by Thorntree Press.
Aidan Shingler’s art and writing questions and challenges common preconceptions and misconceptions. He invites those who encounter his work to see the world anew. Through creativity he celebrates life and the universe, emphasises the multi-dimensional nature of reality, and conveys the strength and fragility of the human spirit. His work is pervaded by signs, symbolism, synchronicity and significance.
Aidan Shingler’s exhibitions have toured the United Kingdom. He was curator of the 1990 Visions show at the Royal College of Art and is creator of StarDisc, 21st century stone circle and celestial amphitheatre located in the Derbyshire Dales.
Aidan Shingler’s art is included in permanent collections:
■ Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art
■ The University of Nottingham, School of Medicine
■ County Hall, Derbyshire
“1962, aged four: I sat in a small transit van driven by Roy White, a warm hearted Caribbean painter and decorator and family friend. We were travelling through Dartmoor during the hours of darkness in the vicinity of Tavistock where my parents, having moved from London, had recently set up home. At some point during our journey my companion glanced up at the night sky and exclaimed:
‘Look Aidan! Look up at the stars!’
I gazed skyward and was immediately entranced, awed by the dazzling beauty of starlight, witnessed for the very first-time.
I deluged Roy with a series of ‘whys?’ His patient answers awakened a wide-eyed child’s imagination and triggered a lifelong quest to understand our place amongst the stars. Roy switched on the radio and was thrilled to find he’d tuned directly into the unforgettable sound of The Tornado’s newly released 45rpm single ‘Telstar’. It was explained that the music had a connection with our conversation and the sparkling diamonds in the sky, and I experienced yet another first, synchronicity.”
Discover more about Aidan Shingler at www.realitytester.co.uk
“The appropriateness and suitability of the materials used to construct StarDisc were intensely deliberated. The use of black stone to evoke the night sky and highlight the stars and other features carved into its surface was a central design consideration. I also required a contrasting stone to surround the star chart but wanted to avoid mixing materials. A combination of black and silver granite was the ideal solution. The use of limestone, although native to Derbyshire, would have seriously compromised quality, endurance, aesthetics and artistic intent.”
StarDisc was launched on the 10th September 2011 attended by more than a thousand well wishers. It was opened by BBC Sky at Night presenter Pete Lawrence and esteemed amateur astronomer and co Presenter Sir Patrick Moore. The celebrations included an under the stars, screening of Steven Spielberg’s classic film Close Encounters of the Third Kind … it was a magical evening.
“It was a wonderful evening and one I will not forget! Fantastic to see so many people there, quite astonishing – Patrick Moore was delighted.”
Pete Lawrence: BBC Presenter – The Sky at Night
■ Crispin Donaldson
■ Aidan Shingler
■ Dickon Shingler
■ Luke Shingler
■ Tricia Durdey
■ Ron & Noreen Durdey
■ Anne Baker
■ Steve & Irene Gough
■ Christine Wright
■ Janet Honey
■ David Lawrence
■ Phil Richards
■ Phil Bramhall
“Thank you for believing in me, for your support and generosity . . . only with your help was I able to bring StarDisc into the world.” Aidan Shingler