Tom is a Sydney-based performance artist and academic. In his performance practice he explores themes of mental illness, mortality, and the human condition. Tom’s practice is informed by interests in psychoanalytic theory, philosophy, religious and spiritual belief systems, and art history. He recently completed a PhD at Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney, researching the relationship between ritual, psychoanalysis and body art, and how these different streams of thought address the problem of alienation.
The possible efficacy of art is an enduring concern of Tom’s practice. He remains ambivalent about the ‘healing power’ of art; nevertheless, his performances are often a way of expressing desire for healing, whether through art, psychoanalysis, or spiritual transformation. And if art is not a cure, perhaps it can still be a means of survival?
Tom has been working with wool and felt in his performance practice for a number of years as a reference to the German artist Joseph Beuys who advocated for the showing and healing of wounds. Since 2020, Tom has also been working with felt and wool in his nascent quilting and textile art practice. In May he will exhibit three new quilts and debut a new performance piece (collectively titled Emergency Blankets) for ‘Carnivale Catastrophe’ curated by Fiona Davies as part of Cementa22, Kandos.
LIVE DREAMS: THRESHOLD, 2022