Platform Alumni Artist Focus – Tom Heatley
9th Jul 2019
Tom Heatley won the Platform Graduate Award in 2015. He was nominated by De La Warr Pavilion for his University of Brighton degree work.
“Platform was a great boost out of Uni, confirming for me that I was an Artist and my practice had a future. Having a show at the De La Warr Pavilion was exiting and eye-opening for a recent graduate, but it was what came after that allowed me to really accelerate as an Artist. With the cash from the Platform Graduate Award I was able to set myself up in a studio at Phoenix Brighton. With the help, mentorship and wisdom of Artist and Mentor Jonathan Parsons and CVAN South East’s then Manager Cara Courage, I pulled together a whole new body of work and put on an exhibition in the Brighton Photo Fringe in 2016.
“In the three years since then, I’ve been juggling day- (and night) jobs to pull together rent and food, then spending as much remaining time in the studio! I’ve been making new work under the name ‘There We Have It’ since March 2017 which taps into thoughts on our relationship to politics. I’ve spent a lot of time experimenting, so in this work you can see that my palette of materials and images has brought about a departure from previous work (check it out on my recently updated website).
“I have a residency coming up in the gallery at Phoenix Brighton, where I will be setting up shop in there for three weeks starting mid-July. Although there is only one official open day on Sunday 4 August, you will be able to see what I’m up to through the gallery windows! I will also be sharing what I’m up to on the @cvan_se Instagram in an upcoming one day takeover on Thursday 25 July.
“A parting piece of advice to any graduating artist: just turn up! Even on days when I don’t feel full of inspiration or have a plan of what to do, I show up, just to drink coffee, read, or tidy the studio – you never know what it might lead to. All you can do is give yourself the best chance of being productive, and the rest works itself out.”
Image: Tom Heatley, photo by Dulcie Wagstaff @dulciewagstaff