January 22 – February 28, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday January 22, 6-8 pm
Tom Hill is a sculptor, draftsman, and jeweler whose work is an exploration of the natural world, most notably in sculptural objects depicting animals in motion. Built from materials such as mild steel wire, wood, copper, and pigments, Tom Hill’s most recent series of birds will kick off Velvet da Vinci’s 25th anniversary celebration.
According to the artist:
Birds have long been the connecting thread through my work. On a basic “form” level I enjoy the sense of a round body suspended on thin legs, the challenge of making a piece balance both physically and aesthetically, the suggestion of strength and lightness; always the feeling that the bird may be just about to take flight and disappear from view. The scimitar curve of a beak extending from the rounded head form with those beady , skin-surrounded eyes; both ugly and beautiful at the same time.
In this new group of birds I employ the wire in a rather different way to how I have previously used it … the wire creates form rather than suggests it; the dense wires blur the wooden “body” armature underneath and the eye reads a soft edged line … hopefully suggesting a lightness and “featheriness” in spite of the hard steel and dense wood.
I tend to think of all my pieces as character studies. Spend a few seconds observing a bird; the turn of the head, the flash of an eye, puffed up feathers; each gesture conveys a wealth of visual material for the artist as we see the bird consider and interact intelligently with the world around it.
The more time I spend observing nature the more I feel connected with it and feel greatly privileged to live in our urban landscape, rich with animal life.
Born in Rochford, Essex, England, Hill studied at Ipswich School of Art and Middlesex University, London and currently lives and work in San Francisco. His work has exhibited at museums and galleries on an international level; highlights include solo exhibitions at ARTspace at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (Sheboygan, WI), the Fuller Craft Museum (Brockton, MA), and the De Morgan Centre, (London, UK). The artist’s pieces can be found globally in corporate, public, and private collections; notable commissions include projects for the Hyatt Regency Hotel (Tampa, FL), the BBC Symphony Orchestra (London, UK), and the John Lewis Department Store (Southampton, UK). His work has been included in numerous publications such as Metalsmith magazine (US),CRART Magazine (South Korea), as well as Lark Books’ 500 Broches and 1000 Rings. Hill has been represented by Velvet da Vinci for nearly two decades.
CLICK HERE to read a feature on Tom Hill: Birds by Hi-Fructose magazine.