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Renowned artist’s work set for first Scottish show

A Scots gallery is to present a mid-career retrospective of works in print by the internationally renowned artist Tom Hammick.

Glasgow Print Studio will host the event on its First Floor Gallery from 2 August until 29 September, in what is Tom’s first solo presentation in Scotland and presents works spanning 15 years of his printmaking practice.

In addition, Tom is producing a suite of new prints in collaboration with Glasgow Print Studio Master Printmakers, to be launched at a later date. Stage proofs from this suite are included as part of the exhibition.

He said: ‘All my images start from an amalgam of personal experiences and reflections of family life, newspaper cuttings, plots from plays and operas, lines from poems; I am interested in re-creating props and staging as a framework for stories in a setting as a way of describing what it is like to be human.

‘So all my works have a specific narrative element to them; however veiled. There is a hook that gives me the impetus to make pictures that I hope are open ended enough that they can be personalised and become appropriated by others.’

Tom has described landscape in his work as a metaphor to explore an ‘imaginary and mythological dreamscape’.

Drawing from a wide range of sources, from Japanese woodblock prints to Northern European Romantic painting and contemporary cinema, Hammick’s depictions of isolated human dwellings grounded in uncanny dream-like settings summon the uneasy atmosphere of a psychologically-charged thriller, or a dystopian suburban nightmare.

Tom Hammick inking plates with Workshop Assistant Alistair Gow. (Photo: Claire Forsyth)

His imaginative and emotional exploration into the human condition explores questions about place and transience and asks questions as much about home, where we belong, and how the ideas of a connection to place conjure up aspects of who we are and how we live. His images often are centred around inhabitants living on the fringes or outskirts of society, as metaphors for how artists of all sorts find themselves often on the outside looking in as the obvious vantage point for filtering the copy of life and acting as barometers of the state we are in.

Working with Master Printmakers at Glasgow Print Studio, Hammick has begun work on a new series of coloured etchings which include ‘Narrow Road to the Deep North’ from which the title of this show is taken. A selection of these new works is on display as unfinished works-in-progress.

Tom was the winner of the V&A Prize at the International Print Biennale, Newcastle, UK in 2016, his print Violetta and Alfredo’s Escape (2016) was subsequently obtained by the V&A, and he has recently been awarded the prestigious Joseph Albers foundation Fellowship in 2019. Tom has also exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, having his pieces on display from London to Paris to New York.