Tom Summers

A Thing, 2022

28 × 25 × 37 cm
What is this thing? It’s got the usual trappings of a vessel, but does it function as a vessel? Kind of, if you wanted somewhere to put three stems and that’s all. So is it a sculpture reminiscent of architecture and the built environment? Kind of that too, although from where and what style and time period, I couldn’t really say. Is it an amorphous blob that looks like something under a microscope? I would say probably also yes. It’s truly just a thing. It is made as though it’s for a museum context, sitting on its own plinth, ready to be encased and displayed. You could imagine all the other things sitting around it in their own cases, maybe giving some context, maybe not. Is this thing allowed to exist without really being anything? I’m not even sure you could say it’s beautiful and be given a pass of existing for beauty’s sake. All I can really say for certain is that I made this thing and I thought my little strange thoughts while I made it. I never questioned what I was making or cast a deeply critical eye over it, but simply enjoyed the process of making and adding to this thing that I hoped would be something. But I’ll settle for just a thing.
Tom Summers is a queer artist working in Adelaide. His background is predominately fashion orientated, studying fashion design in Brisbane and Sweden. Albeit brief, working within the fashion industry after graduation left a yearning to find a deeper intimacy between the products we consume and our own internal life. In trying to find some reconciliation between these ideas, Tom has been exploring his architectural ceramic forms since 2018, after discovering his affinity for the material and the permanence of the finished result. The inspiration for his forms comes from contemplating a fantastical, utopian version of the built environment that surrounds him. Tom is currently practicing out of JamFactory ceramics department in Adelaide as part of the prestigious associate program.
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