Opening Exhibition: Five Ways Gallery

The Five Ways Galleries opened with a great turnout on Saturday 13 February. The exhibition has drawn together practicing contemporary artists from the around the Dandenong ranges. I felt particularly honoured to exhibit beside my friend Heather Bradbury, who is an outstanding contemporary realist.

The gallery has been opened with great anticipation from the locals, who expressed their heartfelt nostalgia for a gallery that once stood in it's place. I look forward to seeing what comes of this new community hub! The exhibition will run until Saturday 9 April, when the gallery will re-assemble a new exhibition.

 

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Painting Demonstrations

The process of commissioning a public painting demonstration begins with a no-obligation consultation. The client can chose from a previously designed artworks (examples attached), or have an artwork designed to match the theme of a specific event.

The paintings can be completed between 1 & 1/2 hours and 3 hours, depending on the timeframes of the event. Painting demonstrations are inclusive of the following:

  • Consultation with client
  • Planning (reference photos / preliminary sketches)
  • Materials (Including quality cotton duck canvas and Art Spectrum oil paints)
  • Supply of drop sheet, easel, floodlighting
  • Setup and pack-down

Upon completion, the artwork will be the property of the client.

International Publication

When studying classical art in Italy and Greece, I made friends with a journalist by the name of Gili Karev. This article is a snapshot of our meeting.

Manifesto is a Hong Kong based international publication for arts, fashion, pop culture and design. Distribution includes London, Paris, Rome, Milan, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, New York, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney and Melbourne.

http://www.manifesto.asia/post/476/Outside-Looking-In-Thomas-Gibbs

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A Rant About Beauty

Have you ever been camping with someone who's just a little bit too enthusiastic? Let me tell you what it's like: If you approach a mountain, you will notice a little glint appear in their eye. At first you will probably think nothing of it, but beware, it's the curse of desire. They then precede to rant about the mountain, constantly admiring every vantage point from which it can be viewed. You must agree! If they're not convinced that everyone's noticed, they point out every possible detail. The colour of the sky. The height of the trees. The way the leaves graciously dance with the air element. How the folds of the horizon kiss the clouds. Your ears become a sounding board for their devotion.

I'll confess, more often than not I'm that annoying traveling companion! At the foot of a beautiful mountain my legs become a little weak, and I declare myself love-struck. Hopelessly devoted. Distracted by the invitation of beauty.

So, I hold one big question. When I encounter beauty, what is it that I'm actually desiring? I'm surely desiring something.

Right?

Umberto Eco in preface to his book called "On Beauty" says that beauty has nothing to do with desire. He wrote... “Beauty differs from desire. We can consider human beings to be most beautiful, even though we may not desire them sexually, or if we know that they can never be ours.” Based upon this foundational opinion, he continued to write a celebrated theory on beauty in the postmodern time.

Perhaps I should take Umberto camping?

I don't agree with Umberto. I think this is because his definition for beauty celebrates possession over participation. To me, beauty is relational.

Actually this leads me down a slight tangent that I will explore in a later blog; if you strip yourself from every form of relationship and external influence you have ever experienced, what do you have? Nothing. Perhaps relationship is the base building block from which I experience my whole identity... But I might explore this thought later...

When I encounter beauty, what is it that I'm actually desiring? Perhaps what I'm desiring IS relationship. 

I look at the beautiful mountain and see the fox glide gently down it slope. I don't desire to own the fox. Nor the mountain. What do I truly desire? Perhaps, I long to relate to the mountain with the same gentle and lyrical swiftness of a fox?

Beauty is an encounter with the 'other', that seems so strangely familiar. It always points us beyond ourselves. "Our hearts are made restless. By the echoes of a song we have never heard, and memories of a place we have never seen." 

Athanasius: Someone From Nothing

I've been busy creating some drawings for a novel.

Athanasius - someone from nothing introduces readers to Athanasius (296-373), of Alexandria, Egypt. This thoughtful narrative brings to life the man whose resolute insistence on the divinity and humanity of Christ has shaped history.

Studying in the Birthplace of Classical Art

This year I was granted a life changing experience through the generous bequest of The Ian Potter Cultural Trust, and The Graham Hildebrand Foundation. I underwent a 3-month art intensive, based in Italy and Greece, where I learned classical art history and painting techniques. We spent the first month touring Italy, mainly focusing on the period of Baroque to Renaissance, and then the last 2 months were spent in the Greek Cycladic Island, where we studied the birth of Western civilisation, mainly focusing on the Hellenic to Byzantine period. By locating my practice within European tradition, I was able to develop new technical skills, and consider new ways to develop the maturity and conceptual integrity of my artwork. 

My education in Italy and Greece went beyond technical lessons, but invited me into a profound love for the ancient classical world. I learned new skills, but in a deeper sense, I forged a familiarity and personal relationship with the old masters. Traversing Florence, Pistoia, Venice, Pisa, Prato and Rome, I experienced the vast and foundational history of western art, and learned about its significant relationship with art today. On the Greek island of Paros, I discovered that art was central to the Greco-Roman ideal, and played a pivotal role for the progression of an intelligent civilization.

My experience studying in Italy and Greece met my desires, and exceeded my expectations. The course provided a holistic education that recognised the importance of a dialogue with literature, music, science, and philosophy whilst studying visual art. Thus, I found myself studying streams that I never anticipated. As a result, I was able to relive the decisions made by classical artists, and understand the artist’s contextual relationship with their contemporary world.

I was enthralled by “Duomo”, central to the city of Florence. It’s elegant presence boasts 1,600 years of craftsmanship. One particular morning, I climbed the cathedral Dome, and enjoyed the mystical sounds of the Monks who chanted below. I was transfixed by the sublime fresco imagery, and overcome by the transcendental sounds of the ancient music that resonated through the walls of its original birthplace. Something of that moment introduced me to the ecstatic hope that was forged within the depravity of human longing, which shaped some of the most significant movements to have influenced the history of fine art.

My classical education was a foundational experience that enriched my understanding of western art. I believe that such an education should be accessible to all Australian Artists. Consequently, I am studying my Graduate Diploma in Education. As a teacher of art I hope to teach classical history and investigate ancient techniques, with an aim to enrich the future emerging artists of Australia.

Furthermore, the experience has inspired a new exhibition entitled “Incurvatus In Se” (Latin: “To Curve In On One’s Self”). The series will investigate the symbolism of body language present in Michelangelo’s artworks, and consider philosophical and theological implications.

Solo Exhibition: Becoming

I'm exhibiting in Carlton. Check out some photos from my opening.
‘Becoming’ brings together the last 3 years of my art practice.


VCA Grad Show

I'm all ready to go! Come and see me at the Victorian College of The Arts Graduation Show, 2012.

Opening Night Fine Art Grad Show 19th of November.

6pm - 8pm

Exhibition Opening Hours:

Tuesday 20th. 11am - 5pm
Wednesday 21st. 11am - 5pm
Thursday 22nd. 11am - 5pm
Friday 23rd. 11am - 5pm
Saturday 24th. 12pm - 5pm
Sunday 25th. 12pm - 5pm