Tom Moore | Meet Your Maker
Tom Moore’s world of glass is inhabited by colourful hybrids, quirky creatures and alchemical experiments. His love of the fantastic was formed in childhood through his primary school librarian mother, a Latin teacher who re-trained when the ancient language was on the wane. Growing up in Canberra, with a house full of children’s books, Moore immersed himself in the rich visual imagination of Dr Seuss and Edward Lear and was mesmerised by the animal/human hybrids of Sesame Street.
Moore knew that glass was his medium during a high-school trip to Canberra School of Art, “I walked into the glass studio and was immediately drawn to the dexterity of liquid glass. You can defy gravity with it and play tricks with people’s perception, it’s there and not there, it’s a material that is apt to express paradox.”
His early training was as a production glass blower, going on to work at the JamFactory for 15 years as Production Manager. He says of this time, “I made a lot of trophies and tableware, but was always developing my own practice and my interest in metaphor, zoomorphic vessels and the decorative art tradition.” Now an established and prolific artist, Moore has exhibited at GOMA in Brisbane, MCA in Sydney and his highly successful Adelaide Biennale exhibition in 2016, which attracted over 220,000 visitors in 3 months.
With this success has come reflection and a very deep desire to understand the history of glass and his own interest in the mythic and grotesque. Through a prize and scholarship, he has spent time in Venice and connected strongly with the traditions of glass, realising that many of his own techniques originated from the Romans and were finessed by the Venetians. He is now undertaking a PhD at the SA School of Art, allowing him to uncover a rich history of zoomorphism in glass combined with research into philosophy and theory of humour and the absurd.
Looking to the future, Moore has strong networks in the US and will be teaching in Pittsburgh in 2019. His work has sold to American collectors, enabling networks for touring and exhibitions. He is excited by these opportunities, but is also revelling in this time of study. Enabling him to interrogate his interest in the connection between humans, plants and animals, in what he calls, “A search for the profound meaning of the interconnection of life.”
The Adelaide Review is a proud media partner of Well Made. First published in The Adelaide Review Issue 465.
Thumbnail: Tom Moore, Specimens. Photo by Grant Hancock
Banner Image: Tom Moore, Confederacy of Amalgamated Figments. Photo by Grant Hancock.
Image: Tom Moore, Marsupial bottles. Photo by Steve Wilson.