tom hackett 


tom hackett sculptor

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 

Work Synopsis

Broadly my work is about several inter-relating strands. None stand alone. Central to much of what I do is making connections and collaborations with people, places and situations. As humans, we are mutually constituted in language and linguistically shaped throughout life. With this in mind I harvest conversation and re-configure dialogue into fresh visual and audio structures liberated from linear semantic codification. These fragmentary works reflect rather than depict a given departure point.  I try to unpick the ‘sense making’ imperative, which paradoxically both limits and drives humanity forward. I am particularly interested in the place of written and spoken language within this quagmire. I also use interruption as a tool to question, dissect and reveal the everyday, which frequently gets lost in the haze. Humour and absurdity play a part in this, with the use of dislocated objects and performative actions. For me, art is an affirmative interjection which can bring something to the table. Then there’s the other bit, palpable, yet intangible, Alchemic. By which any artwork stands or falls. It is more than a feeling, an action or a set ideas.

selected installations and exhibitions (solo & UK unless indicated)

Aberdeen Art Gallery

Atelier 35 Bucharest Romania (group)

Angel Row Gallery Nottingham

Art Moustiers France (group)

Arts University Bournemouth

Apsidal Galllery Ollerton

A.L.L. Cambridge (group)

Battersea Arts Centre London

Bonington Gallery Nottingham

Brewhouse Arts Burton on Trent 


Centre for sculpture Oronsko Poland (group)  

Darlington Arts Gallery (2 person)

Drift station Nebraska USA (group)

Degrees of Freedom London (group)

Departure Lounge Luton

Edinburgh College of Art

Espacio Gallery London (group)

Firstsite Colchester

Fermynwoods Water Tower (group)

Glynn Vivian Art Gallery Swansea

Holden Gallery Manchester

Indialogue Derby (intervention)

Karlsruhe Hochschule Germany (group)

Kreativni Krk Croatia (group)

Lubomirov/Angus-Hughes London (group)

Moving Art Map Braga Portugal (group)

Mappin Art Gallery Sheffield

MAC Birmingham

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)

Pitzhanger Manor Gallery London

Platform Art Athina Greece (group)

Patchogue Arts Long Island  USA (group)

Penshaw Monument Sunderland

Quenington Sculpture Trust (group)

RAG Richmond Canada (group)

Rugby Art Gallery

Sculptors society Dublin Ireland (group)

Scarborough Art Gallery

South Hill Park Bracknell (group)

Space 36 London (group)

Sharpe's Pottery Museum 

Southwark Park Galleries London (group)

Tad Gallery Texas USA (group)

Tate exchange  Liverpool (group)

The Gallery Stratford Upon Avon

Twenty Twenty One Visual Arts Centre

The Collection Lincoln

UH Galleries Hatfield

University of Brighton (group)

VVM5 Venice Italy (group)

Visionfest ’96 Merseyside

Worcester City Art Gallery

Wrexham Arts Centre

Yard Gallery Nottingham

selected publications

conversation piece - artist's publication - tom hackett art dialogues 2017

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.’

Steven Adams

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.

Dominic Mason


It’s all carried out with a deadpan gravity that confirms Hackett as a worthy daydreamer of poignant absurdities.

Robert Clark

The Guardian

‘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.’

Robert Clark

The Guardian

'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.' 

Robert Clark

the Guardian

'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.'

Emma  Albury


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.