T O M   K E M P

Tom is a mainly self-taught artist who has quickly developed a strong following for his work which has been purchased by collectors all over the world.


His work stems from a fascination with writing - the physical making of visual language - which has led to vast explorations of calligraphy. The discovery of the 'calligraphic nature of throwing' at a weekend ceramics course about seven years ago provided Tom with the discovery of a whole new surface to work on, with 'natural, three-dimensional curves which are far more complex and interesting to write on than a flat sheet of paper'. 

'The question then is what to write? Any particular script always ends up just transcribing particular languages. However, if we remove language from writing, we find a set of universal forms, which are common to all scripts: shapes which appear throughout history and across the world as writing was invented and spread across cultures. Which is no surprise as all writing comes from the efficient use of the human hand and body. With no language to get in the way, the general nature of our mark-making is revealed. It's one of our ways of recording our very being: as a tool is dragged across a surface, all the intricacies of that performance are recorded as a still, clear image of its own making.’

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