REVEAL: Tom Henderson / by Ryan Williams

I've revealed myself a few times in the past, sometimes with meaning and sometimes without. I like to think I reveal a little piece of my fragile soul every time I post something to this website (please be gentle with me). I once revealed myself for money as a nude model - for art - so to speak.

Speaking of art, Tom Henderson is doing an art at some place in town, and Mirage is on board to show him some love, and also help him announce his art show 'UN SOLO' (more about that later). I sent him a word doc to fill out so I could share it with my friends (you).

What is the story behind this show?

The show is called ‘UN SOLO’ (that’s Spanish, senór), which translates to ‘one’ or ‘a single’ for those playing at home. Why? Because it’s my debut solo show and I like the sound of it. And also because for a bit of my early twenties, post-uni, I was living overseas with my ex amongst a Spanish speaking family and emerged from that situation a bit ‘solo‘ in the end so I think it’s a fitting title now that I’m pursuing what I’m passionate about on my own. This show is probably a culmination of me finding myself. (Then people will look at the work and be like “But they’re just cartoons?!” haha!).

For the past year or so I’ve been working out a bit of a ‘visual language‘ so to speak, where hair flows into hands and continuos lines connect abstract faces and figures.  All quite intuitive and dictated by impulsive strokes and trusting my eye for composition, (which I believe is quite strong because of my background in graphic design).

The show is a result of that experimentation and the developments in my own style, but I’ve stripped the works back and focused on the compositions. It’ll be a lot more graphic and simple than people might expect. ‘UN SOLO’ marks a turning point to a more concise and clear way of communicating my style I believe.

The entire show will feature a pretty strict colour palette and I’ve ditched some of the impulse in the creation of the works to create thought-out pieces that will work together as a whole. There’ll be a stack of large-scale digital pieces, like you see in the poster, and a few really big paintings in the same style if all goes to plan. Plus shirts and prints and other kinds of fun stuff will be available on the night.

How long do you typically work on a piece for?

I’m purposely spending quite a while on each digital piece. Maybe 6 or more hours on each? While they’re based on the intuitive sketches, with the works I’ve completed so far I’ve taken my time to unearth things I couldn’t have thought of in the quickness of the sketch. I’m making sure every line and every block of colour is right where it needs to be. I do pride myself on being able to put together pieces that work very quickly, but it’s actually been super refreshing to be a lot more meticulous with the composition of each piece. 

Have you created much of the work yet?

Only a couple of pieces are completed so far but I’m pretty excited with how it’s coming together. I came up with the scaffolding for the whole show in about 20 minutes of sketching when I had a bit of a creative epiphany (that’s what it felt like), and that was just last week! I probably shouldn’t say that...

Where is the show at?

The show is on Friday the 25th of August (from 6-8pm) at ALCHEMY, which you can find at number 488 on Hunter St. It’s a great space!

What will there be to drink? I’m thirsty.

Yeh, me too. The Murray’s boys are lending a hand, so there’ll be lots of tasty beverages, so you don’t have to worry about that.

Will there be music or silence?

There will be silence... because of the music! Grace Turner is going to play so good that people won’t be able to speak. She’s a super talented artist and I’m really happy she’s on board.

What will we do after?

There’s going to be a huge after party at The Edwards from 8pm in the beer garden (so as soon as the show wraps up). I’m super happy with how it’s all come together. Parry (from the Edwards) pulled some serious strings for me, he’s a legend!

There’ll be projections of my work on the walls and huge prints hanging that would have been a bit too big to work at Alchemy. Plus there’ll be live music, merch and more tasty beverages, it’s gonna be like ‘UN SOLO DUO’!

I’m pretty excited about the whole thing if you can’t tell.

You can see some of Tom’s works on instagram at @tmhndrsn but he thinks all his best work will be at this show so you should just come and say hi then! See you there!