I spent two half-days filming Tom and his assistants in his studio in Bermondsey South East London, not far from where I used to live before moving to The North East.
Tom and his team were a pleasure to work with, and the studio full of energy, good music and banter. Feeling immediately welcome, I began shooting straight away, as Tom painted and printed around me in bursts of intense creativity followed by quiet reflection.
I wanted to capture the personality of each printmaker and the atmosphere of their studios as accurately as possible, and so for Tom I shot handheld throughout on my AF101. As beautiful as tracking and tripod shots would have been, they would have looked too formal for the manner in which Tom works.
Tom was a natural in front the camera, talking at length about the print processes and why he used them. He is also an art lecturer and his knowledge of other artists and their works was encylopedic and insightful. He has a fantastic sense of humour, swears with panache, and was patient and kind when I needed him to answer questions.
During the afternoon Tom must have produced three or four monoprints, with each repainted and reprinted in numerous versions. It was painful to watch those that he wasn't happy with thrown into the bin (I would happily have framed any of them for my walls at home) but in James Lord's "A Giacometti Portrait", he describes how the artist is "so poignantly aware of the difficulty of making visible to others his own vision of reality..". I began to understand why repetition and abandonment were such a fundamental part of Tom's process.
Tom created two pieces for the Glossary exhibition, a monoprint titled "Seagull" and a drypoint "Edge", which are both featured in the film.
CameraAF101 & GH2