Thomas Garnon


Bankside Gallery: Rising Artists, Jackson's Painting Prize 2023
35.5 cm x 30.2 cm


“Ambiguity plays a crucial role within my work, it allows me to communicate an emotive idea through abstract language – leaving the work open for interpretation by the viewer. I use automatic mark-making techniques to activate the surface, I then work quickly with rapid brush strokes in wet paint to pull out wavering narratives from within my subconscious. The biographical titles that accompany my work suggest themes of social anxiety, queer identity, and role-play. One can see when looking at my work that more often than not, the body is out of sight – sometimes submerged, whilst other times swaddled in a mass of fluid brush strokes. This is a conscious effort, metaphorically referencing the inability to act rationally when neck deep in a bout of emotional turmoil, whilst concentrating on the face as a mask or veneer for camouflaging character, referencing classic portraiture – its performative nature and it’s role in communicating character. The Clown (Smile, 2022) has become an important symbol in my recent work. Im interested in the idea of the painted smile as a construct of happiness and juxtaposing that within contemporary culture; the smile can be implored as a symbolic facade for concealing authentic feelings or lived experience.”