Melbourne, AUS.Tom Vincent is represented by Blockprojects in Melbourne, Australia
“These works have arisen from a way of looking and observing in an attempt to gain an understanding of the nature of myself and the place we find ourselves in. Experimentation and discovery are key drivers to my work, and these are experiences that occur not outside of my body but rather inside my head with my eyes closed as a type of thought experiment or consciousness exploration.
I have been aware of a constant of movement, a constant marching of the natural systems we inhabit most of my life. A cycle or rhythm that at its core is an oscillation between on and off, open and closed. A cycle that, as much as we like to think it, we are not removed from. Through observation of these movements and rhythms of the world I became increasingly aware of the importance of stillness. Seeking to find stillness in a continuous ocean of waves and current has helped me observe what I see both with my eyes open and closed, gaining an insight into my own true nature. These works are made from a point of introspection past what I think I am. The waking, walking, talking and painting human being I think I am. But rather from the point of view inside, underneath the movement and flow at a point of stillness.”
NKN Gallery, 2017.
Tom Vincent’s latest paintings continue investigations into the artist’s abidinginterest in human transcendence. He has been struck by the ways in which certain key shapes have been employed by many ancient cultures across the planet as a means of opening up meditative states of consciousness.
The artist has brought this repetitive shape into his new series of paintings. The same shape can be found carved in stone lintels above Neolithic passage-grave sites, and also in shamanic cave paintings, which use the same geometric shape. The shape has been held as a central motif by many ancient and pre-modern cultures. It has been utilised across Europe, Asia and South America. The Mayans called it Hunab Ku. This shape has recently been announced to represent the structure of the vacuum - the shape of space itself. But many ancient cultures would go further and say that it is the core of all things: the mind of the universe -the ‘central sun’.
Vincent builds up the paintings with sprays and aerosol, resin and drawing materials. He has an overall idea of the geometry involved, but not how the finished piece will eventually appear. In an appropriate nod to earthly forms, as well as transcendental states, the artist also uses crushed quartz crystal across the surface of the works. This substance has a long history as a component in early radio-sets - so, a poetic as well as a physical link to both aural and mental communication has been made.
All the paintings in this exhibition link ancient talismans of meditation - through the mediation of contemporary abstract painting. They strive for one particular goal - the accessing of a universal state of mind.
By Steve Cox.
NKN Gallery, 2016.
Ideally, Tom Vincent would like the viewers of his paintings to enter into an almost trance-like state of (sub)consciousness when contemplating his work, wherein they may experience his pictures on a subliminal level of ‘understanding’. His imagery derives from the archetypal geometric form which underpins all natural and biological phenomena: the building block of life. It is the blueprint of existence – the mother of all shapes and symmetries that form our world and the universe we inhabit.
We live in a fractal universe, in which the same patterns are endlessly repeated, whether seen through a microscope or through a telescope. Rivers ‘mimic’ the shapes of veins and arteries in our bodies; which in turn mimic the veins on leaves, which mimic the shapes of trees. Patterns in nature have a mathematical basis.
Things as diverse as the shape of a cauliflower, or the pattern of a leopard’s coat, or the shape of a coastline, all have a similar, binding mathematical explanation behind them.
This geometry, which underpins the structure of life, appears in the art and architecture of a multitude of cultures across the world, both ancient and modern. It seems that it is hard-wired into our DNA, as a species, whether we have been aware of it or not.
Tom Vincent makes paintings that tap into this deep-seated ‘awareness’ of the mathematical configurations of our existence. He invites the viewer to travel on a train of imaginative thought whereby the works wash over them and carry them to another level of mindfulness.
The element that connects every human being on the planet is our relationship to the geometry that forms us and surrounds us. Vincent’s art asks us to allow ourselves to drift into the heart of this geometry, so that for a moment we may become one with the universe.
By Steve Cox