Stories somewhere out there in the sand

TOM JEAN WEBB

March 2nd-27th

Friday- Sunday 11-5pm or by Appointment contact midnightoilgallery@gmail.com

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Artist Statement


The art was created as a means to represent a message or way of life. I became interested in telling my

own story by a creation of a new era or society with its own objects based on personal expression of

internal issues and social commentary, designing and developing my own symbols and imagery in order to

suggest a message. My visual representations allow me to continue to understand the ideas of these

objects, the role that art plays in the presentation of these movements, and the proposed visualization of

an idealistic or honest statement.


My pieces allude to a fictional social movement, ceremony, culture, escapism, feeling or folklore that are

expressed within the materials of my objects. My representations of this movement or idea do not fit into

a given time period or specific social or political matter, but rather become something more timeless and

multi-referential.The adopted repetition that exists within the work is done to instigate a relationship

between the works as a whole, referencing the idea of mass communication and continued narrative, to

begin to develop the understanding of elements contained within the singular pieces and solemnity to

these symbols.


The strong use of craft is done as a primordial form of art, processes that masses have experienced and

connected with, thus offering a basis for investigating the concept of communication through the medium

of art. The objects illuminate an energy through their production, whether an intensely repetitive action,

effective technique, or an instant arrangement and joining of materials.


My work often includes portraits, from all aspects of humanity, including both modern and historical times.

This is to feed the social qualities of the work, to interact with the audience on a humanitarian sense, and

to feel a rudimentary connection with the work. I’m fascinated by the idea of 'freedom' within art the idea

of achieving some sort physical or emotional freedom, whether that be in the process of making it,

displaying or viewing it. The visual representation of a 'nothing' or a blankness juxtaposed to detail

information in my work is essential. By using a void or negative space, I can create just as much if not more

emotion or narrative in an image. I can manipulate not only the eye, but also the way an image is read. This

forces the viewer to fill in the space both literally and conceptually. Why is the space there and how does it

affect what is present? Before I’ve started, I think about how I’m going to un-draw something, and how I

can then draw, create an emotion with empty space or a 'nothing'.


I grew up with fabric around, my mother is a curtain maker, and so I had a unique opportunity to

understand the beauty within fabric and textiles. She is someone who I have collaborated with many times

and enjoy making artwork with. My granddad is definitely the major male influence. My

fascination with America and American history and culture very much came from him. From a young age

his house fascinated me. It’s decorated with all sorts of Americana, artifacts and memorabilia. The simple

fact that he found such joy in a culture that existed outside of his own, and the way that he adopted this

through his fashion or ideas, is something that has had a big effect on me.