My main focus is drawing, where the possibilities of the materials are explored. I work in mixed media on board and on paper.
Change through time and the inevitable accumulation of experience are themes that have underpinned my practice from early on. The way that buildings and much used objects age, weathering and transforming with the passage of time, is a constant source of inspiration. I work at evoking a ‘patina of experience' in my pictures. This directly relates to the methods used to make my work, where I combine conventional techniques with more innovative processes. Layers of media are built up, to be abraded, worn through and overlaid yet again, mirroring the passage of time and giving glimpses of the unfolding story of the making of the work itself.
As well as an abiding interested in visual perception, I am interested in the function of memory. In particular, the fact that our understanding of the world around us (people, places, concepts) is filtered or conditioned through our memories. There also seems to be a connection that, however much we toil to comprehend and to broaden our knowledge, our understanding will never be whole.
Much of my work can be characterised by what is missing. There is a resonance contained in a fragment, of stories to be guessed at, what has been lost…
Tom Cartmill, April 2021
‘There is a sense of the primordial in the highly textured and intricate work of Tom Cartmill. Abstract and realised largely in monochrome, his compositions suggest large themes of time and space, beginnings and endings, creation and decay... Much of his recent work is suggestive of microscopic entities or geographical features, but with a strange and hypnotic beauty that in no way relies on narrative interpretation.’
Circle II (fromWorkshopRemnants)
Circle I (fromWorkshopRemnants)