Young Space: An Interview with Thomas Adam

Kate Mothes, Young Space, October 11 2019

''Can you tell me a little bit about you?

I am a Scottish artist who has recently relocated back to Edinburgh Scotland after living in London since 2011. London was a great city to be based as an artist, as you are spoiled for choice with gallery’s to visit and interesting people to meet, but it has become increasingly difficult to exist there financially. I am very excited to have moved to Scotland, as both Edinburgh and Glasgow have amazing and close-knit art scenes and are less than an hour away from each other.

 

I recently completed a masters degree in Print at The Royal College of Art in 2018, it was a great two years and very pivotal in my art practice. Having that time to experiment with different ideas and media and being surrounded by amazing artists has helped me steer my practice into a direction that I am very pleased with.

 

When did you first discover art, or realize you wanted to make it yourself?

I have always enjoyed creating art which can be seen in the large collection of sketchbooks which my Mum has kept from my childhood, which mainly consist of drawings of Godzilla destroying cities. I studied art in high school, but felt as if all creativity that I had enjoyed as a child had been replaced with meeting grades by completing compulsory projects like imitating Monet paintings; it all felt very dry and art school was never mentioned as a serious prospect. However, I ended up at art school for other reasons, studying landscape architecture at Edinburgh College of Art in 2007. During my first year, the majority of my friends were in the fine art course, and I was very envious of their creative freedom and energy from being able to create what they liked rather than following a strict curriculum which I had previously experienced. I transferred as quickly as I could, and have been creating ever since.

 

What ideas are you exploring in your practice?

The ideas for my pieces often come from the dismantling of my everyday experiences and memories, focusing more on a feeling or aura of that time rather than the reality and mundanity of living it. I am particularly drawn to making work about that period between adolescence and adulthood where senses are seemingly heightened, memories are more dreamlike, and the supernatural seems more plausible.

 

In recent pieces, I have explored 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. I am interested in discredited sub-cultures and their followers who spend their lives pursuing knowledge about something that others would perceive as crazy. Often this feels like a close parallel to being an artist.

 

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What is the most exciting thing you’ve done or accomplished so far, related to your work?

I had my first solo exhibition at Arusha Gallery in March of this year, for me seeing the culmination of two and a bit years of work come together was a fantastic experience, and has given me the confidence that might work is on the right path.''