Tom Norris UK, b. 1990

For Norris, making vases is a process of remembrance, of summoning, visualising and solidifying memory. Optimism and discipline are foundational aspects of his work. So too are playfulness and poetics. The signs and symbols suspended on the surface of his compositions are a visual language, the arrangement forming something like a verse. Norris strikes a contrast between hard-edged forms and loose gestures, yet there is an ease of movement between them, developed in some sense by the smooth curvature of his vessels. Indeed, they are vessels, holding for Norris a functional license and not solely an artistic purpose. 


Interspersed between gestural markings of trees and foliage are hard edged blocks of colour and right angled lines, visual motifs that suggest borders and a separation of spaces. That is, we are variably positioned outside of nature and within it. Indeed, the depiction of one thing by Norris often suggests its opposite: exteriors imply interiors, mass suggests void and, on a more material level, concave vessels produce convex surfaces.


Norris has exhibited consistently in various spaces since his graduation in 2013 from Loughborough University. He works with both two-dimensional and three-dimensional surfaces. In a technical sense, what unites all his work is the collaging, assemblage and layering of bold pigment with abstract forms, figures and symbols rendered in calligraphic and exuberant strokes.