Artist Profile

David Thomas

Born 1964

David Thomas completed his studies at Unitec in 1994 with a Bachelor of 3D Design.
He has since been involved in the arts in varying positions with the co-operative studio space Indicator as well as researching for The Big Art Trip, and also a frequent exhibitor at the Dowse Art Museum in Wellington.

His style is sculptural, beautifully and thoroughly executed. He creates woven kete out of archival film stock, each kete therefore takes on a story of its own, referencing the past histories as well as acknowledging past art forms. They are mounted on top of a light box, with intricate details right down to the Bakelite plug and old kettle cord.
The luminosity created by the light filtering through the 16mm and 35mm film strip is eerie, and causes the celluloid to take on a glow of its own, filling the objects with light.

The film material that Thomas uses, carries New Zealand and Pacific subject matter, mostly from 1940-1960, and is combined with other film industry plastics to create the kete and the whariki. Thomas says, "Through the substitution of natural fibre for image bearing celluloid, they critique and make reference to local geography and history, traditions of culture and to the social documentary attitudes of the film's period.
Here weaving becomes a poetic technique. Woven patterns of image, carried in the object, produce fresh non-linear narratives. The artwork and its construction act as a mapping reference, for our fluid processes of memory imaging. The woven object serves as a model of a personal memory, a structured representation of the collected, crossed and overlapped mental strands that constitute a remembered experience."

David Thomas has works in many prestigious public collections, including the Auckland Museum, Dowse Museum, as well as many private commissions and collections.

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Ferner Key