"WASN'T IT UNCANNY"
13-17 March 2018
Unit3 Old Street
In the past few years, Thomson has exhibited in multiple group shows in London, showing his work at both the ICA and Royal Academy of Art, as well as internationally in the group show ‘HYPERION’ in New York.
Each day, a different selection of artworks will be on display to recall the fallibility of memory, the central theme of the artist's work.
- The Story of a Plant: without its natural light, the plant won’t grow. Without a human watering it, it will die. The artificial light momentarily illuminates the plant as it hopelessly watches the world pass by. It must learn to survive in whichever way it can -
Thomson simplifies his interiors to blocks of pure colour or raw canvas, punctuated only by the odd item of furniture or door left ajar. In this way, he questions the objectivity of the photograph as a ‘truth-telling’ device, using sparse detail to evoke emotions rather than facts. Beds, plants and windows are rendered in textures of black - flocked, scumbled, impasto - and unfinished canvas.
This urge to both reveal and conceal is not unlike memory itself, which is often shaped by the desire to either remember or forget.
- Viewfinder: inspired by the photographic shooting process, the paintings are a response to ‘bringing the camera to your eye’ - a way of looking through a space or void to capture a sliver of the bigger picture. The detail is taken out of its broader context, allowing a new meaning to develop as a result. -
His recent work draws on the Freudian concept of the uncanny, where normal, everyday objects are seen in a different light and become unfamiliar and strange.
This theme has been inspired by the fact that Thomson was forced to move back to his childhood home.
He found himself in a suspended state, where a house that was once so familiar had become a source of frustration, with a feeling that he no longer belonged there.
Moving around the house, memories of his childhood would come to him, most often at night.
- Holy Home displays works that look at the childhood home as a place of divinity. The familiar views and shadows evoke memories from past time spent alone in a specific space. The paintings are inspired by the feelings experienced on revisiting a childhood home. -
The work in this exhibition was born out of an intensely personal experience for Thomson but plays with universal emotions.
Memories, real or imagined, subtly manipulated, enticing viewers to question their recollections: “Was that there yesterday?”
- Golly Gosh, an installation conceived as an olfactory ode to his Grandma, aims to jolt viewers straight into her living room in Swindon. The combined smell of Chanel No. 5, Gordon’s Gin and a half-smoked fag causes sudden, involuntary memory taking the viewer on an unnerving trip against their will. -