1 week ago

Artistic License: Tom Climent

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The Cork-based abstract artist and colourist’s new exhibition Everlast is about reawakening after a period of dormancy …

Tell us about your new exhibition Everest – is there an overarching theme?

This new exhibition is perhaps a slight departure from my previous one with Solomon Fine Art. It is less architectural and more nature/landscape based. I try not to impose a theme when I’m working. It’s only after I’ve finished a series of paintings that I know what the theme is, the work itself tells me what it’s about. This work is about rejuvenation and regrowth. Almost like an awakening after something has been dormant for a while. I think this is reflected in the shapes and compositions of some of the paintings, there is this sense of movement, of something in flux and emerging.

How and where do you work?

All my work is painted in my studio in Cork [on the banks of the River Lee in the heart of the city] where I’ve been based for the last 25 years. I don’t work from sketches, and over time I’ve developed a routine and a method to enter into a painting. I allow places I’ve been, experiences I have, images I see to find their way into the work. It’s about being guided, of opening up a creative space and allowing what comes through to be manifest in the work.

I started the paintings a year ago. I work on a broad series of paintings of varying sizes all the time. The work itself slowly evolves but when I’m asked to do an exhibition I pick what I have finished that I feel reflects the themes or nature in my current work. When I work on a series of paintings I usually have an overall image in my head, like a guide or a light in the distance. For this new series it is that of a tree that has been chopped down but has started to regrow. The new shoots and branches are emerging and spiralling out from it’s trunk. It’s like a life force that keeps regenerating.

Have you found lockdown helped you creatively?

I’ve been lucky in that I don’t share my studio, so I’ve been able to keep working during most of the lockdown. I’ve found it quite intense really, to be able to focus quite solely on my work without any other distractions, it’s definitely been a productive time.

As one of the first exhibitions post lockdown it must be a great feeling to show your work to others rather than online …

Yes, it’s been great to get the chance to show this work in a gallery now. It was originally planned for the end of April but of course couldn’t go ahead. I must give credit to Solomon Fine Art for giving the chance to show the work now. I feel it’s important for artists to publicly exhibit their work, as it gives them the opportunity to see their work as it really is, to take stock of where they are and to plan out a new direction of where they might go.

Need To Know: Tom Climent’s “Everlast” exhibition opens at Solomon Fine Art on Thursday July 2 – 25, Balfe Street, Dublin 2; www.solomonfineart.ie

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