Joel Tomlin


Joel Tomlin born in 1969 in Sheffield, UK.  He studied painting at Chelsea College of Art. Recent Solo exhibition, Calyx Horse, Belmacz, London (2015), Intoxicaded, Max Wigram, London (2005). Recent Group exhibitions include: If I Was Your Girlfriend: A Jam, Belmacz, London, Dice Apple Knife, Sothebys, Stockholm (2018); The Ashtray Show, 4Cose, London, written contribution to William Morris Society, London, Humble as Hell, Merz Barn, Elterwater (2017); The Names, Transition Gallery, London (2016); A Bestiary, Turf Projects, London, Ludic at Herrick Gallery, London, Naturrelikt und Kunstkonstrukt, selected painting and sculpture, Grafikmuseum Stiftung Schreiner, Bad Steben, Germany (2015); Fourth Drawer Down at Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, News from Nowhere at William Morris Society, Kelmscott House, London, a two person show Unplanned Memories, Transition Gallery, London (2014); Lions on Water and Women in Love at Belmacz, London (2013), Selected Paintings and Sculpture, Kronach, Germany (2013). Forthcoming: Dice Apple Knife, Peter Bergman Galleri, Stockholm. Joel lives and works in London.



William Morris’ journey that he undertook to Iceland in 1870, partly as an act of escapism as his personal life was in disarray, has always fascinated me. The reality of Iceland amazed and mystified Morris, claiming it "that most Romantic of all deserts”. His craftsman’s eye and mind were aroused by the discovery of a living folk art, all taking place in a very austere economy and holding up a harsh mirror to the follies and commercialism of his own era. A culture of simple handmade furniture, sledges and ancient vernacular farmhouses had an effect of transcendence on Morris, one of an atavistic connection to Iceland's legends and sagas, as with the touch of my own works, the painting (Untitled 2017 -image 2) gives the sensation of a remote place being brought close, the eye or keyhole to the mystery,  "Dreadful with grinding of ice and record of scarce hidden fire". Indeed, Morris decided to absorb the origins of the Sagas, travelling alone by pony, observing the sayings, songs and poems of the people he met, which later fed into his visionary politics of fellowship. The sculptures (Untitled 2017 -image 4, and Adtz 2017) attest to a condition that Morris began to believe in during this period, a Nordic sense of fate known as the 'Wierd'. This being an origin seeking clairvoyance, a Ju-Ju like sensation that is derived from utilitarian objects and rooms, indeed, the sculptures seemingly simple materials and construction are capable of containing legends, a shared folk memory.

-Joel Tomlin-




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Pistol, 2012
bronze and tempera, 4 x 13 x 10 cm
untitled , 2017
egg tempera on card, wood, gesso in found frame, 45 x 27.5 cm
Adtz, 2017
wood, tempera, steel nail, 22 x 62 x 10 cm
untitled , 2017
wood, bronze, nails, 97 x 20 x 20 cm
Tumblers, 2013
tin, gesso, tempera, wood, dimensions variable
Vernal , 2015
patinated bronze, 22 x 65 x 60cm
Woad Hare, 2013
Charcoal & tempera on paper 16.5 x 21.5cm