Thom Buchanan

VISUAL ARTS
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All my work reflects a fascination with time and the built environment, from large-scale live painting to layered works on canvas. Sometimes ghostly, often mixing dark and light tones, I try to draw the viewer through an imaginative timescale that encompasses future built environments – utopian and dystopian – and the layered pasts I feel we still inhabit. Any future vision should attempt to communicate with and through the thousands of years of history that precedes it, from Indigenous understandings and uses of place through to contemporary migrant experiences. I aim to create images that work both away and towards, into past and future, using fusion and decay. There are tensions between natural and built environments, between moving forward and being still, between the living and the dead.

In its strong attention to the vanishing point, always an invitation to enter the work, I believe Metamorphosis of place addresses just such tensions. The fractal or jigsaw structure asks the viewer to be conscious of built environments as constructed spaces in time, and to push toward their own vision. How do we create a future for the city that understands its history and takes responsibility for the past and for future generations? What new custodial relationships will be needed for a changing climate? I believe it is the role of the artist to contemplate such questions.

— Thom Buchanan

Thom Buchanan is a painter, drawer and cross-disciplinary artist residing in Adelaide.

In 2010 he graduated from the School of Art, UniSA with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) and has since exhibited extensively locally, nationally, and internationally along with being a finalist and winner of a number of art prizes.

In 2011 Thom collaborated with Garry Stewart’s Australian Dance Theatre on Worldhood using a live performance drawing techniques, drawing on a monumental scale 2.4 x 28m in 60 minutes with 17 dancers at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

In 2013 he was involved in several major collaborations such as the Centenary of Canberra 2013 live performance drawing with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, The Kreutzer Sonata for State Theatre Company South Australia which premiered at the Adelaide Festival, and was one of several artists commissioned create a mural in Canterbury Museum as part of the Rise Festival, Christchurch New Zealand.

2015 saw Thom create a large-scale drawing for Samstag Museum of Art’s ‘do it’ [Adelaide] exhibition.

In 2016 he worked on a massive mural for The Royal Croquet Club spanning 6x14m, as well as working with State Theatre Company South Australia and Andrew Bovell on the 8x15m backdrop for Things I Know to be True, which has toured Australia and the UK and will be returning by popular demand to the UK in 2018. Thom was also selected as a finalist in the prestigious Fleurieu Art Prize 2016 at the Samstag Museum of Art.

2017 was a roller coaster year for Thom: he was a finalist in the Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing (NSW), the Maritime Art Award (Vic) and Tatiara Art Prize (SA) and was awarded the People’s Choice Art Prize for the Hadley Art Prize (TAS) — the richest landscape art prize in the world. Thom also travelled to China as a Cultural Artist Delegate for South Australia, where he held an exhibition, ‘Sights and Impressions’ at the Shandong Academy Museum and showcased his work as part of the Asia Contemporary Art Show in Hong Kong.

The first half of 2018 has seen Thom collaborate with Bluebottle Productions on a live performative drawing for Vivid Sydney and with Slingsby for their Adelaide Cabaret Festival premiere, Songs for Those Who’ve Come Across the Seas, and be named as a finalist for the 2018 Fleurieu Art Prize. He is currently working on new work for upcoming exhibitions and projects.

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