My personal interest relates to the layers of life and experience that makes each of us who we are. We typically show the outside layer of our being which, although it may bear some of the physical signs of things we have experienced, will not reveal how we felt about the ways in which we have experienced ‘being’.
The same thing can be experienced by different people in different ways. So it is the suggestion of what happens inside that interests me.
I approach my work exploring the ways in which I can reflect these ideas. I have come to making most of my work in layers. I want my work to change as the angle of view changes, and as the context that they are placed in changes.
I hope that my work also reflects aspects of the world that we occupy, so I typically use utilitarian materials – often used in large scale production, and as such taken for granted. Many of us would not give a second thought to Acrylic, but it has qualities and resonances that reflect the areas that I explore in my work (its transparency and its opacity), and those qualities become integral to my work.
Similarly steel has an extraordinary beauty that is overlooked in favour of its utilitarian value. As with acrylic it is massively produced (albeit above levels of current world demand) but we don’t tend to look at what it is – rather at what it does, and that seems to me to reflect how we all too often treat other humans, and perhaps feel viewed ourselves.
So the materials I use bring important resonances.
I also hope that the physicality of the making process brings resonances. I use 3D scanning; computers and laser cutting as tools of my work, and I have learned various fabrication processes from industrial applications. I am just integrating these processes into my practice as a sculptor.
At a practical level this allows me to make work that evolves. I am interested in the birth and evolution of an idea. I tend to start with the question ‘I wonder what happens if..’ rather than ‘I want it to be like…’ It is like finding my own – non-verbal – language to express the aspects of being that I find interesting.
It is a fascinating journey that leads me up many cul-de-sacs, but which also provides access to new insights.
Tom graduated from the Cambridge Art School in June 2013 with a first class honours degree (Fine Art BA). He won the Dr Supanee Gazeley Fine Art Prize in 2013 for his degree show exhibition. Tom’s work has since been exhibited in solo and shared exhibitions across the UK and Europe. His work already appears in private and public collections across the UK, Europe and America.