Thomas Quayle | Episode 170
Thomas Quayle graduated an Honours Degree from the National Art School in 2013. Since completing his studies Thomas has been a successful applicant to Bondi’s Sculpture by the Sea exhibition two years running as well as receiving the Clitheroe mentorship prize in 2014 through Sculpture by the sea. Thomas also attended a mentoring program in South Korea working with Korean artist Young-Sil Han.
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That was painting a portrait for a friend who wanted a painting of his girlfriend for her birthday. I felt really bad because he gave me a lot more that I wanted for it because it was really small. I kept trying to reject it but he kept trying to force it on me. So the thrill was kind of there, but it came with guilt. It is pretty hard to do work for friends I think.
Why do you express melancholy so much in your work?
I express melancholy in my work because it was such a big part in my life when I was growing up. In order to cope with it I spent a lot of time examining those feelings that I had. Sort of trying to look inside myself and trying to decipher what makes me feel this way, why people feel this way, why people would treat me a certain way… Just that whole self examination interests me. I like to do something where I feel like I am not just making an object that looks pretty; I’m making something that I feel is a conversation about myself, and the viewer can talk to me while I’m not in the room, the viewer can stand there and I can have a conversation with someone when I am not there. Or even after I die, people will be able to see this work and I’ll still be able to communicate.
Which sculpture are you most proud of?
That is a hard one. I actually have a favorite sculpture for every body of work I’ve ever done. I think my favorite one currently is An Awkward Encounter (seen below), which is the most recent work on my site only because it is the newest work and it holds so much potential and possibility. And that is what excites me.
What types of methods do you use to promote your work?
I am on Facebook- I have a Facebook arts page. I recently got Instagram while I was in Korea because I was forced to. I try to use social media a bit. But the main thing that I do is I enter a lot of art prizes (contests) and for me that seems to be a better way to draw attention to myself or open myself up to a much wider audience than just the people that go to one specific gallery or anything. So at the moment I try to ride quite a few art prizes and exhibitions. They will organize different media events, or they will get you interviews or do write ups about you in papers or anything like that. There is a lot of work that people in art prizes will put in to try and advertise your work to also advertise their exhibition. I feel like it is so mutually beneficial and a much easier way to do it. Especially if you are unsure which avenue to take to try and get yourself out there.
Have you earned any awards?
I have. Last year I was the recipient of the Clitheroe Mentorship prize, which was incredible because I could pick a mentor and I received a financial benefit and so did my mentor. That helped me out a lot; I got my own camera equipment that I didn’t have before. I like to take my own photography and that prize gave me the finances to be able to do that as well as gave me the finances to travel to Korea and have a mentorship over there.
What would you like to be doing with your art in ten years from now?
I’d like to be exhibiting a lot more in commercial spaces. I think that would be that would be quite fun. Or even just exhibiting more whether it is commercial or not doesn’t bother me. In all honesty I am just happy to make, explore, and experiment. I want to be using more and different materials and push the boundaries of my ceramic work while still keeping it ceramic. I’ve been experimenting with sewing and cloth and different things like that. I want to try and bring a few different mediums into my work.