Tom Gallant is an artist currently based in London. After spending time working as a digital consultant he began researching his practice based on contemporary visual culture and the environment surrounding. Delving back to histories, most notably the Victorian era, he produces work which questions the artist process and work ethic. His pieces are a derivative of time and precision that makes us visually embark on the journey the artist has undertaken whilst creating the piece. Thus bringing the process to the forefront of the viewer’s minds. After holding a fellowship at the Royal Academy Schools in 2001 he embarked on a residency in Rotterdam. Since then he has exhibited at venues around the world.
Here he meets Louise Leverett to discuss the ideologies behind the influence of Culture within Creativity.
LL: Tom, your work has been exhibiting in galleries for a number of years now. At what moment in your life did you decide that you wanted to be an artist? Can you pinpoint it?
TG: I realised whilst working for artists having left college that I had a similar mind set and the life of design I thought I would follow was too narrow.
LL: Has there been a person or particular influence on you which has made an impact on your creativity?
TG: An artist called John Isaacs gave me the confidence to make work that was held by a conceptual thread but that jumped mediums and messages.
LL: Looking at our society in terms of creativity, what surprises you in the world today?
TG: The strength in conceptual design and the freedom which designers have in expressing themselves even when working to briefs.
LL: How important do you see culture as a way of defining creativity?
TG: Radically unimportant, the internet is showing us day after day the many forms culture has and how creativity is constantly redefining itself. My 3yr old son shows that to me the most.
LL: Your work has a strong visual emphasis. Do you use other art forms such as music as a point of reference for your work?
TG: No. Literature is. However I am starting two research projects where pieces of music are connected to the central theme, so watch this space.
LL: Does anything scare you as an artist in the world today?
TG: The decisions I have to make as a parent.
LL: Is there another culture in particular which your curiosity is drawn to?
LL: And how does your own culture or place in the world influence you and your work?
TG: It refuses to give me a base from which to be complacent.
LL: As an artist, what terrifies you?
TG: The imagination my son has and the freedom he will show and the ability the world has to crush that.
LL: And finally, if you are the centre of your world, what makes your world turn?
TG: The constant struggle to find balance between life and work.