12/08/23 - 09/09/23
Being Here is Tom’s second exhibition at Project 78. It consists of an amalgam of fifteen very small panel paintings on pieces of wood, as well as a monumental woodcut that reflect on states of mind when we are surrounded by water, fields and flowers set in an edenic landscape. Colour is heightened and often expressionistic. Areas of woodgrain in the surfaces of the supports add to the patina of the images. The one compositional exception to this in the show is an image of a space station looking down on Earth and across our solar system. From this cosmic vantage point, it’s as if, as expressed in Carl Sagan’s famous 'blue dot’ passage, when describing a photograph of a minuscule single pixel Earth caught in a sunbeam taken by Voyager 1, 3,762 millions miles away, all of our humanity in the moment carries pain, contemplation and joy as we reflect down below the cloud line, on love and loss and what it is like to be human, while spinning round and round in our particular corner of the galaxy.
Perhaps terrestrially, some of these feelings we share when we look out to the horizon on the waters edge are about love, and more specifically who might love us? This is so movingly summed up in Late Fragment, by Raymond Carver.
And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.
About Garden in a Time of Loss: As an artist I feel I want to somehow obliquely tell the story of my time on Earth.
As the title of this woodcut suggests, with the backdrop of our political elite shunning responsibility for taking action
now to avert the worst outcomes of climate catastrophe, I have tried to make an image that celebrates the reseeding of Earth.
Here a small individual action of growing flowers in a field can negate some of the doom and gloom most of
us feel, and I hope in some small way acts as an image that defies a universal feeling of dread and despair
at the state we’re in.
The plants cannot be identified specifically as examples of flora we come across in everyday life. But I hope their strangeness
connects to what might be conjured out of the primordial soup that feeds life.
Excerpt from Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot…
Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives….on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.