Alasdair Thomson - “It is a great privilege to bring the natural stone to light”
The spirit of the Greek sculptor Phidias is alive and after almost 2,500 years, inspires one of our contemporaries whose art astonishes and provokes. In this article we continue the series of contemporary artists who are able to extract from the stone unbelievable spirits and shades. We are talking about Alasdair Thomson, a sculptor born in Scotland, famous worldwide especially for the way he depicts the delicacy of fabrics in marble works.
After graduating as BA in Art History, Alasdair Thomson (born 1983) is offered the chance to work as an apprentice sculptor of Mark Mennin, an American sculptor, in Connecticut, USA. Since 2009 he studies the rules of proportion in Italy, Senese Scuola Edile, from which he receives his graduation diploma in 2010. He returned to Scotland, worked as a restorer and participated in the restoration of historic buildings such as the Cathedrals of St. Giles and St. Mary.
In 2013 he receives the People's Choice Award at the Royal Scottish Academy Open Exhibition in Edinburgh. A year later, he is mentioned at the Carving Studio & Sculpture Center in West Rutland, Vermont, to be awarded the Creative Award at Creative Edinburgh in 2015.
Thomson has exhibitions all over the world including London, New York, Hong Kong and Edinburgh. According to him, the artist is not interested in modern art, but in old things, something easy to assume as long as he studied classical art and renaissance at the University of Edinburgh.
The Identity Collection series of works made him famous worldwide. The 12 works are made of marble, inspired by the clothes donated to the artist by his friends. The dresses hang on the hangers, trying to capture the very personality in movement of those who gave it to him.
If marble appears to be feminine and vaporous in these dresses, Nike sport shoes highlight masculinity and "sporty" marble power, the shirt in the box combining strength with delicacy. Thomson's art, unlike the creators of his generation, is not primarily critical but focuses on the ratio of essences between the stone and the textile material that it suggests. We are invited to analyze the differences between the source of matter and the finite art object.
The conflict between hardness, stiffness - on the one hand and malleability and fluidity - on the other. All these paradoxes are contained in Carrara marble, all spectacularly displayed by Thomson's talent.
"It is equally a joy and perplexity to see how, as soon as the redundant material is removed, I become responsible for a wonderful and rigid thing, such as the stone, which now turns into the folds of a soft material. Regardless of the complexity of the project, I work with the same excitement that I had when I first started sculpting. Every piece of stone has its unique beauty, formed over millions of years, and it is a great privilege for me to bring it to light. " Alasdair Thomson
Photo source: alasdaircthomson.com, thisiscolossal.com