Artist Tom Hiscock's latest project

Tom talks us through his inspiration for an exciting new piece
April 25, 2018

Tom graduated from the Cambridge Art School in June 2013 with a first class honours degree (Fine Art BA), and has exhibited in solo and shared exhibitions across the UK and Europe. In 2013 Tom won the Dr Supanee Gazeley Fine Art Prize in 2013 for his degree show exhibition. His works appear in private and public collections across the UK, Europe and America and we are delighted to be able to showcase his pieces at both of our galleries.


Discussing his works Tom says, ‘My personal interest relates to the layers of life and experience that makes each of us who we are. We typically show the outside layer of our being which, although it may bear some of the physical signs of things we have experienced, will not reveal how we felt about the ways in which we have experienced ‘being’.The same thing can be experienced by different people in different ways. So it is the suggestion of what happens inside that interests me.’


Tom’s arresting and interesting works have garnered much praise from visitors to our galleries. There is an intriguing contrast between the metals and materials used with the organic subject matter that is prevalent within his pieces. The layered effects take on a life of their own as they morph and change as the viewing angle is altered.


This week saw one of Tom’s most physically imposing works installed at Newbury racecourse where he takes up a six month residency. Tom and his team were kind enough to detail the processes behind the creation of Drinking Horse. We sat down with Tom in a quickfire Q and A session to delve deeper into this imposing work.


Tom, what does the piece represent to you? How did it come into being?


'I worked with horses for the first 12 years of my career, mainly in horse racing, as a stable lad and then as an assistant trainer. I even had a handful of race rides. I have always loved the essential nature of the horse. I have drawn and painted many horses through my life, and have always admired the work of those sculptors who can capture that essential character. This is my first attempt to capture that essence in 3 dimensions.'
fabricated metal horse


You have prevoiusly mentioned the importance of size and scale in your works, what does the scale and size mean and what effect does it have on you?


'My clay model for this piece is about 50cm tall. At this stage the scale is less important than the character and the feeling in the form. The first version is an edition of 8 in copper – slightly less than life-sized, but large enough to have a presence. I knew when I had made the first version that it would be suited to large scale, and it was a joy to make. She stops me. I think she is really beautiful.'
drinking horse in progress


Can you give our readers a brief overview of how Drinking Horse was made?
'As suggested above, I start by making a clay version of the piece. This is where the pose and the detail count. I am going to reduce the amount of information from this point onwards in a search for the essence of the piece, so the detail now is important. I then scan the clay model using 3D scanning. I can make any necessary tweaks to the 3D version on the computer and then I slice the scan data and separate out each slice. I then have each slice cut with a water jet to give me the form of each slice. The slices are then re-assembled, and hey presto!'
sculpture base


What were the challenges in creating this piece?

'The main difficulty is answering questions about making art. You can ask ‘how did you do X, or Y?’ and there is a technical answer to that which won’t answer the question that I think you are asking. Art is my language, and – in this case, for me – the work says it all. Spend time with it and you will know the challenges and the difficulties in making it.'


Tom drinking horse in progress


The location of your work is important,  what do you hope it means for those who view it in this particular context?


'I am very grateful to Julian Thick and his board at Newbury Racecourse for providing this venue. They have invested heavily over the last few years to create a world class horseracing experience for owners, trainers, jockeys and for every single racegoer. That development work is nearing completion, and it seems like a very appropriate time and a very appropriate location for this particular piece of my work. The added personal significance is that Newbury was the first racecourse I went to (many years ago). I started my career working in Lambourn, Berkshire, just down the road from Newbury.'
Tom sculpture Newbury finished


About the author

Leslie Pratt

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