Tom Voyce- A Sense of Place- Landscape painting
Tom Voyce (born 1989) is an artist from the UK. Trained in Fine Art at Aberystwyth University School of Art in Wales, Tom gained his bachelor’s degree in 2011- specialising in drawing and painting. He completed a Master’s degree shortly afterwards allowing him to refine his practice while working and teaching at HE level. This also included a visit to China in 2014 where he taught life drawing.
In 2017 Tom participated on Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year, where his powerful and distinctive landscapes thrilled the judges. He went on to win the competition and claim the prize of a £10,000 commission from the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, where he was required to paint the view from the legendary playwright Noel Coward’s home in Jamaica.
Tom is an artist whose work sits firmly within a vast art historical tradition. Heavily influenced by 20th Century American abstraction, his work treads a tightrope between figuration and abstraction and takes particular inspiration from the work of Richard Diebenkorn, who trod a similar path through his work. It is a tension between figuration and abstraction in Tom’s work, often unresolved, that gives his work the very energy, dynamism and vibrancy that make the paintings so successful. His language is one of abstract concerns (shape, dimension, tone, colour, mark etc) balanced with the presence of organic forms, where landscape provides a rationale or pattern which informs his compositions.
To call Tom a landscape painter then, does perhaps not do justice to the wider concerns present within his work. The subject at hand here is not landscape itself, but rather the components of such that make up our perception and experience of a place; light, tone, shadow, colour. What we are offered through these paintings are accounts of fleeting moments within a landscape; the fall of light on a building, or the shadows cast by a motorway flyover. The strength in these pieces lies not in their faithful depiction of a landscape, but in their suggestion of a sense of place, of being present within a particular space at a particular moment.
Tom makes his paintings by working very quickly on a whole series at the same time. Often on a small scale, the works complement each other and work together to allow a vibrancy and relationship to develop. As a result, one painting can often be completed within hours. He paints in oils on gesso primed boards which dry quickly allowing him to build-up layers through colour and marks. His tools include the traditional variations of filbert paint brushes- but also his ‘pebble’- a painting wedge that allows for paint to be moved around and for an underlying structure to be developed throughout the painting. He likes the ‘history’ of the artwork to remain upon viewing, which this tool allows for.
His subject matter comprises of a variety of different themes, but his compositions consistently demonstrate his interest in the formal elements of composition: structure, perspective, shape and light. Places of transit such as airports, railway stations, roads and bridges also remain a favourite theme.