LIGHTNING WITHOUT THUNDER: Thomas Adam

21 March - 7 April 2019

In a new series of works created for Lightning Without Thunder, Adam has presented an abstracted semi-autobiographical version of the artist’s youth growing up in rural Scotland, focusing on a specific time period between adolescence and adulthood where senses are seemingly heightened, memories are more dreamlike, and the supernatural seems more plausible.  

 

To create his larger works on aluminium, Adam utilises a variety of traditional and contemporary printmaking processes such as etching which is where his initial images are created, and screen printing onto digital image. This layering of different print techniques together with exposing specific areas of the reflective surface of the aluminium, create a great contrast between light and dark, adding depth and a sense of an alternate space within the works. Adam also shows his sculptural considerations by framing his artworks in a way that directly corresponds to the images that they contain. Using an ink wash Adam stains the wood surface of the often complex framework to create the sense that the image can have a direct effect on the physical world we inhabit. 

In a new series of works created for Lightning Without Thunder Adam has presented an abstracted semi-autobiographical version of the artist’s youth growing up in rural Scotland, focusing on a specific time period between adolescence and adulthood where senses are seemingly heightened, memories are more dreamlike, and the supernatural seems more plausible. The artist has attempted to recapture this mood and atmosphere in his created dark spaces, and in the artist’s self portraits, seemingly standing at the intersection between the mundane and the supernatural, where revealing one’s reflection whilst scrubbing the floor or catching yourself off guard in the bathroom mirror creates an existential conundrum. Adam also finds inspiration in the obscure stories and humorous fallacies of the conspiracy and UFO culture, for example, the work Dusk in Bonnybridge explores the brief phenomenon in the early ‘90s  where the locals of the small Scottish town Bonnybridge experienced a flurry of unexplained UFO sightings.

 

To create his larger works on aluminium, Adam utilises a variety of traditional and contemporary printmaking processes such as etching which is where his initial images are created, and screen printing onto digital image. This layering of different print techniques together with exposing specific areas of the reflective surface of the aluminium, create a great contrast between light and dark, adding depth and a sense of an alternate space within the works. Adam also shows his sculptural considerations by framing his artworks in a way that directly corresponds to the images that they contain. Using an ink wash Adam stains the wood surface of the often complex framework to create the sense that the image can have a direct effect on the physical world we inhabit. Unlike standard printmaking practices where the edition-making of the artwork is of concern, Adam’s are individual one-off works, not to be duplicated. This is due to the complexity of his technique and nature of the medium.