Ian M A Thomson

Ian M A Thomson

Berkshire, Southeast, United Kingdom

About Ian M A Thomson

I am a full-time professional fine art sculptor working in marble and clay. For me, diversity is the key for finding inspiration and I look to nature, to past masters, to philosophy, to psychology and to poetry; but where the germ of the idea actually comes from is more mysterious. I spent some years in Africa and Asia on development projects as an architect before turning to sculpture and have degrees in Architecture and in Human Values and Contemporary Global Ethics.

Working on raw marble blocks, I am well versed in both traditional and modern techniques and painstakingly plan my vision to the last detail in clay and on plaster maquettes. I believe that it is important to properly master all aspects of the production process from drawing and modelling, plaster casting, to every stage of carving: roughing out, forming and finishing. Doing all my own work allows for, as well as a deeper and evolving understanding of the subject, the maintenance of a high level of precision.

Believing that creativity can be best served by the intersection of separate domains I alternate between abstract and figurative to maintain continuity in both.

The spirit of inquiry can be present in all one’s endeavours and art should be grounded in nature.

Education

Artistic Biography:
2021 Portrait commission, Lord David Wolfson (“Next” Shops)
2020 Portrait commission, Christopher Foyle (Foyle’s Bookshop)
2019 to 2020 On Tour in Italy: working in the studios of Pietrasanta and Seravezza.
2018 Sculpture commission, USA: “Surrender”.
2018 Portrait commission, “Marley”.
2017 Foundry Work, Arch Bronze, Winthrop Rd, London. Portraiture.
2017 Cold Casting Bronze: Scenic Sets, North End Rd, London, Petersfield Av, Slough.
2016 Karry Gallery, Rive Gauche, Paris.
2015 Portrait commission, “Siobhan”.
2014 Combustus Magazine, New York, U.S.A, (Featured Artist.)
2013 to 2014 Public commission: War Memorial, WWI Centenary, Slough High St, Berks.
2012 to 2013 Studio time and commissions.
2010 to 2011 MA, Human Values and Contemporary Global Ethics, King’s College, London.
2009 Recommendation: A. Paolucci, Vatican Museums
2009 Lecture on sculpture, Women’s Institute, Quay Arts Centre, Newport, I.O.W.
2009 Belgravia Gallery, Albemarle St, London. (Representation by. Cont.)
2009 ArtBridge Online Gallery, Cork St, London. (Representation by. Continuing.)
2009 Senior Youth Arts Tutor, London Borough of Hillingdon, (FIESTA).
2007 Lecture on sculpture, Quay Arts Centre, Newport, Isle of Wight.
2004 to 2007 Studio For Sacred Art, Quarr Abbey, Ryde, I.O.W. (Residency)
2004 Published book illustrations: “A Deep and Subtle Joy”, by Dom. Luke Bell.
2003 Liverpool Cathedral (Solo Exhibition).
2003 Battersea Contemporary Art Fair, London.
2003 Published book illustrations: “Flight of the Pterosaurs”, by Norman Thomson.
2002 Battersea Contemporary Art Fair, London.
2002 The Affordable Arts Fair, Battersea, London.
2002 Kendall’s Fine Art, Cowes, Isle of Wight. (Joint exhibition.)
2001 to 2002 Walk This Way Quarr Abbey, Ryde. (Solo exhibition and Artist in Residence.)
2001 to 2004 Luscious Conceptions Gallery, Windsor, Berks.
2001 Mural Project (Painting), Slough Community Centre, Pinkneys Green, Slough.
2000 Sculpture art group leader, MENCAP, Windsor.
2000 to 2001 The Studio Gallery, Datchet, Berks.
1999 National Association of Master Letter Carvers membership.
1997 to 1999 Sculptor and letter cutter: architectural and monumental.
1997 Project manager on development projects (various), Bamako, Mali, Africa
1994 to 1996 Architect on development project, Central Marketplace, Mopti, Mali, Africa.
1994 Stone carver architectural and monumental sculpture.
1994 Art teacher, Westgate School, Cippenham, Berks.
1994 Illustrations for Monopoly Marketing, Windlesham, Surrey.
1993 to 1994 Art School, 3D Course, Langley College, Berks.
1993 Stone carver, architectural and monumental sculpture.
1992 Antique restoration and product design, Dubai, U.A.E.
1990 Architectural surveys of Buddhist monasteries, Kirtipur, Nepal.
1984 to 1989 BA (Hons) in Architecture, Thames Polytechnic, Dartford, Kent.

Events

On Tour in Tuscany
From 2019 to 2021 I lived in Italy to expand my horizons. I worked full-time at different studios, to meet other sculptors to exchange ideas and working methods, to source new marble and tools and to learn anything that could help my art. I worked at Artco Association Arkad, Studio Pescarella and Laboratorio Spadaccini. I visited many others including Sem, Cervietti, La Polveriera, Stagetti, Angeli and Barattini and spoke to many wonderful artists and artisans.

Residency
Studio For Sacred Art, Quarr Abbey. (2005 to 2007)
I formed the centre with Abbot Cuthbert as a centre of excellence and for the production of fine art for sale and commission. In addition to bronze/resin busts, bas-relief casts, and ceramic plaques, a stone figure of St. Benedict over two metres high was commissioned and now stands in front of the Abbey.

Exhibitions

Solo Exhibitions
“Walk This Way, A Path to Peace.” Quarr Abbey, Isle Of Wight (2002).
“Ian Thomson has spent six months living with the monks, sharing their daily prayer, and carving six works in a monastic outbuilding. The stone sculptures have evolved from the artist’s reflections in the light of September 11. They have a monumental character with an expressive strength deriving in part from their firm grounding in a recognisable tradition.” - Fr. Alexander Tingay.

“Walk This Way, A Path to Peace.” Liverpool Cathedral (2003).
Three-week exhibition in the “lofty and restful space of the Chapter House in Britain’s largest Cathedral”. A series of six sculptures, with concept sketches, anatomical drawings and photographs of work in progress.

I have recently been very busy focusing on studio time and the development of new sculptures and new themes.