tom hackett sculpture
Tom Hackett is a sculptor based in the UK, he was born in Cambridge and studied fine art at Middlesex and Nottingham Trent Universities. In addition to making art he lectures and also writes on the subject.
'Hackett’s sculptural intrigues are as formally captivating as they are thematically confounding . His installations make perfectly good sense to one’s senses as much as they tend
to entice one’s mind into distinctly lateral modes of thoughtful reverie. Hackett’s creative procedures are always rigorously predefined and systematically executed.'
Robert Clark the guardian
I embrace the visually uplifting and aesthetics of the decorative as an entry strategy within my work to create observer intrigue and attention which is then consolidated with the exploration of concepts and issues beyond the surface. These initially seductive qualities, which appeal on primary encounter, are playfully subverted by the coding, associations, and confounding complexities brought to the fore by closer scrutiny. I desire to generate work, which resists singular interpretation and creates viewer interplay on many layers. Taken one by one, each level of encounter can stand alone, but is also intended to catalyse other tangential readings. Holistically viewed the function of these formal, aesthetic and spatial triggers is to provide a reflexive springboard for sensation, stimulus and contemplation, rather than plot a path to interpretative closure. There is a deliberate application of play and dislocation within my work embracing an aesthetic where things are frequently recognizable in an object sense, but are trans-coded and confounded by their material properties, multiple replication, context and scale.
There is a regular element of collaboration in my work, with the collection and contribution of matter and information from wider cultural constituencies. This works towards establishing a climate of trust and shared ownership between myself and host situation. I am committed to the formal and spatial activation of the showing context as a core given essential as well as taking on the space or site conceptually, be it white cube space or public locale. My more recent work is generated by reflection and enquiry into the balance between ourselves and our placement through systems of language, translation, regulation, and social grouping.
selected installations and exhibitions (solo unless indicated)
Association art Moustiers France (group)
Atelier 35, Bucharest Romania (group)
Angel Row Gallery Nottingham
Aberdeen Art Gallery
Apsidal Galllery Ollerton
A.L.L. Cambridge (group)
Battersea Arts Centre London
Bonington Gallery Nottingham
Darlington Arts Gallery (2 person)
Drift station Nebraska USA (group)
Edinburgh College of Art
Fermynwoods Water Tower (group)
Glynn Vivian Art Gallery Swansea
Holden Gallery Manchester
Karlsruhe Hochschule Germany (group)
Lubomirov/Angus-Hughes London (group)
Mappin Art Gallery Sheffield
Museum of Installation London (group)
Millais Gallery Southampton (group)
Nottingham Castle Art Gallery
Northampton Museum and Art Gallery
Oriel Mostyn Llandudno (group)
Oriel Davies Newtown (group)
PM Gallery London
Platform Art Athina Greece (group)
Penshaw Monument, Sunderland
Quenington Sculpture Trust (group)
RAG Richmond Canada (group)
Rugby Art Gallery
Sculptors society Dublin (group)
Scarborough Art Gallery
South Hill Park Bracknell (group)
Tad Gallery Texas USA (group)
The Gallery Stratford Upon Avon
Twenty Twenty One Visual Arts Centre
The Arts institute Bournemouth
UH, Galleries Hatfield
University of Brighton (group)
Visionfest ’96 Merseyside
Worcester City Art Gallery
Wrexham Arts Centre
Yard Gallery Nottingham
shaggy dog stories, conversation with a silicone dog - artist's publication - tom hackett art dialogues 2014 - arts council funded
once is an accident, twice is a revolution - artist's publication - tom hackett art dialogues 2013 - arts council funded
the silicone boys - text dominic mason and tom hackett - photography conrad tracy 20-21 visual arts centre, 2009
risk @ssessment - text tom hackett, photography conrad tracy, published by MAC, birmingham & firstsite 2005
the textual triptych - text steven adams, edited by mathew shaul, published UH press 2003
the physical letters - text deborah dean and robert clark, published angel row gallery 2000
afon - text martin barlow, published oriel mostyn 2000
visionfax - edited by john brady, visionfest 1996
‘In making such a prescient interjection into these debates, Hackett strikes a raw nerve for all those involved in art and how to write about it. In some ways the traditional work of the critic, art historian and perhaps librarian does not sit comfortably with Hackett’s agenda. That agenda is set out with such lucidity that it is imposssible not to make some form of interjection albeit an inadequate one when set beside the dexterity with which Hackett treats and mistreats his subject.’
University of Hertfordshire
These sculptures tempt us to rediscover an age of innocence , although, however seductiverly they draw us in, all we get in return are blank stares, we are unable to connect. The Silicone Boys are an ode to the passing of time and the loss of childhood in all of us.
It’s all carried out with a deadpan gravity that confirms Hackett as a worthy daydreamer of poignant absurdities.
‘There's always been an air of deceptive simplicity to his work, the grand existential themes embodied in forms of disarming playfulness. Here, silicone busts of children are scattered about the gallery floor. Gaily coloured and translucent they appear to be portraits of some lost, or never existent states of idealised innocence.’
'Hackett, who has long been up to imaginative mischiefmaking, touches upon the simple fact of lost footwear poignantly memorialising the human presence that has vacated it. Yet a further level of playful intrigue is added by a series of works titled Flip Charts From The Therapy Room that appear like mocking versions of the mind maps often used at institutional staffdevelopment events. The various elements at times add up to a questioning reflection on the creative process itself.'
'The Silicone Boys by lead artist Tom Hackett is one of the highlights of the exhibition. The multiple heads, scattered across the floor of the Bracknell Gallery draw the viewer in aesthetically, with the use of bright and vibrant colours and a very tactile material; silicone rubber which is my opinion, gives the nostalgic impression of giant jelly babies. However, on closer inspection the following can be observed; the heads are bodiless, floating in the middle of the gallery facing out (although one faces in the opposite direction, going against the grain) They are expressionless, void of emotion and mass produced which gives them a robotic quality. The contrast between these observations echoes the transition from a colourful childhood to awkward, static adulthood.'
Sculpture & Installation 2000, Art Review 1998, AN Magazine 1998, The List, Magazine 1998, BBC Scotland, BBC Radio London-Robert Elms show, Metro Magazine 2003. The Independent 1997, Live Art Magazine 1997, The Guardian 2014, 2013, 2009, 2005, 2004, 2003,2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, Central TV 1999 Birmingham Post 2003,1997, BBC news 24, Chemistry in Britain 1997, Western Mail 1996, Radio Wales 1993, Southern Cross Magazine 1994, Channel 1 TV 1994, South London Press 1994, Hybrid Magazine 1993, Artscene magazine 1987, Artist Newsletter 1988, 1977, BBC Wales 1993, Tyne Tees/Border ELEMENTS 1990, Yorkshire TV 1990, 1992, BBC North 1990, BBC East 1991, Red Dragon Radio 1989, Radio York 1990, Radio Scotland 1992, Radio Trent 1990, Sheffield Telegraph 1992, Wandsworth Guardian 1994, Yorkshire Post 1992, Nottingham Post 2000, 1997, 1993, 1992, 1991, Wales on Sunday 1989, Daily Post 1993, BBC Hereford 1997, BBC Radio London 2003.