About Tom Van Herrewege

Artist’s statement

My work is inspired by the incredible diversity of animals that exist across the world. I am interested in man’s interpretation of this throughout history and the ways in which the animal kingdom is perceived through different aspects of culture. It is the variety in our perception that is formed from experiencing animals, through the variety in their behaviour and their physicality, and how this is embellished within culture that drives my practice.

My research is largely informed by the history of animal representation within art and natural history. I look at the way animals are understood through the media, in books and their display in collections and the various languages we invent and adopt to understand them. I have always been drawn to the information that occurs through man’s interpretation and understanding of findings from natural history and how this is presented in museums and collections. As well as the use of animals within scientific methodologies, I find the use of animals and their presence in different faiths, folklore and spirituality equally as fascinating. Recent projects have taken me to places across the world to understand closer unique perceptions of wild animals within their own environments and from the indigenous people and settlers that share these places.

Over the last few years my practice has developed more and more into being conservation focused. The work I make always has a strong message within it of the need to conserve the natural world and to protect the animal kingdom from extinction.

Selected solo exhibitions

2019: Hit List. Surface Gallery, Nottingham. 12th -26th January.

2018: Hit List. StudionAme, Leicester. 24th March -6th April.

2016: Superstitious beasts. Loughborough University Gallery, Loughborough. October 17th-21st.

2015: Pica pica. A pop up exhibition in Market Harborough in conjunction with residency at Brooke House College and the release of the publication ‘Pica pica’. 8 Roman way, Market Harborough. January 23rd-30th.

2013: Paradise Lost. Kwazulu Natal Society of Arts, Durban, South Africa. May 21st-June 9th.

2011-2012: Tom Van Herrewege. Window Space. ASC Gallery, London, UK. December 5th-January 5th.

2011: Transfauna. Tanks Art Centre, Cairns, Australia. January 11th-March 11th.

2009: Whittled Rays. Malt Cross Gallery, Nottingham. August 22nd-September 11th.

Publications

2018: Hit List. A visual guide to the extinction of animals. Self published in the UK.

2015: Pica pica. Self published in the UK.

2014: Creature fady. Perceptions and understandings of the animal kingdom in Malagasy fady and folklore. Self published in the UK.

Residencies

2015: Brooke House College, artist in residence. Market Harborough, England. September 15th 2014-January 23rd 2015.

2013: Kwazulu Natal Society of Arts artist in residence, Durban, South Africa. March 1st-June 9th.

2011: Tanks Art Centre artist in residence, Cairns, Australia. January 11th-March 11th.

Education

2005-2006: MA in Fine Art Painting- Wimbledon School of Art.

2002-2005: BA in Fine Art Painting- Loughborough University.