Tom Henderson - Unpredictable Order

Tom Henderson - Unpredictable Order

20 September - 14 October 2017

Process - Chance - Pattern

Light, movement and colour are central to Tom Henderson’s wall mounted pieces. Mirrors, plywood and cast acrylic are grooved, cut, painted and polished to create these works which are somewhere between painting and sculpture, between the 2nd and 3rd dimension.

Although his works are hung flat on the wall, they are no standard painting and cannot be fully appreciated if viewed statically. It is the spectator’s movement in front of the works, the ever-changing viewpoint, which brings them to life and unlocks their secrets. A flat, dull black surface can become a multi-layered, intriguing object, if viewed from the right angle. As for anything in life, it is all a question of perspective.

Tom Henderson works in series, which are all variations of his main themes. Movement, chance, optical illusion and the artists enduring curiosity for what you can do to a material. Wood, he considers a friendly and patient material, which gives you calm and allows to be cut, glued, coloured, and will hold up on its own. The same applies to cast acrylic, which has the added benefit of being translucent, so you can work both sides and the edges and making it look like it glows from within.

All of his works have the unifying quality, that you can only really experience them, if you are prepared to move and change your viewpoint.

If the viewer moves from left to right in front of one of the big scratched works like in Flatland or the Wall series, he will see the surface changing like moiré silk. Or the light catching in the mirrored lines scratched into the big swats of oil paint. Or the different mirror reflections in the oblique series, which only appear, if you move.

All the pieces in Tom’s work show a bold and daring use of colour, although surprisingly colour does not follow any deeper idea or philosophy – it is applied purely for its own aesthetic purposes.
The works exist, both as two-dimensional, perspective free, abstract paintings but with portals to the reality of our three-dimensional realm. In a way, this is only the beginning because if you start to include the movement and motion of someone viewing the paintings then angles and reflections change and everything is therefore also relative to the fourth dimension, time.

With Tom’s works, movement is the absolutely and fundamental component. If you stay put and look straight at the work, as you would with most paintings you would be missing more than the lion’s share of what each extremely subtle and intellectual work has to offer.