To Whom Do You Trust With The Spare Keys? - TOM BULL

July 2nd-12th, 2019

Round Two of 2019's InTheWindow exhibitions kicks off with artist Tom Bull presenting a sculptural representation of an intimate encounter, as two beings share a fleeting moment.

Its glazed hair shimmered under the anthropogenic light as it crept along the wall. I stood there in the dark, watching it slip through the window and onto the sill in one slick movement. Silently it lowered itself onto cushioned fours, making no sign or sound of landing. Its reflective coat dissipated as it began to fade amongst the edges of the darkened room, leaving just a glimmering bone shaped tag that hung from the end of its collar. I straightened my back, and peered further into the room. It stopped, turned and clocked my movement. Its manner and my observations were aligned until now, now it had ruptured into an engagement in which our positions were unknown. With bated breath, we were forced to assimilate each other, to question this encounter.

The works on show map an encounter I shared with a cat that came through my window in the middle of the night. A diagrammatic display that not only serves as an account, or a nostalgic embalmment, but an inquiry into moments of ephemerality, where knowledge has lapsed, elements are unknown and counterparts are in the dark, unaware of their position in relation to each other.

The title acts as a direct question, provoking us to think about those who we have given admittance into our homes. Contrariwise, to think about our neighbours, friends or family that have given us constant unequivocal access to their private lives. A symbolic, or often practical gesture, that starts to question ownership, authorisation and privacy. One that also leads us to think about what constitutes us (and others) to be a host, guest, visitor or even intruder. A set of relationships, but also responsibilities, that resonate inside the work, as well as within the wider context of the exhibition. After all, what position do we assume when we encounter the works on show?

-Tom Bull, 2019


Self-professed as a reader rather than a writer of things, Tom Bull's practice is an extension of his explorative wanderings. Bull's works are placed amongst the sea of the encountered, taken by its ebb and dragged towards the horizon line, further and further from solid shore, shallow ground and anchor points. The interest lies in how objects, images, drawings and narration can trigger, elude or foil meaning rather than prescribing a singular, static understanding.

Just as life is multifarious, the works are too, allowing a multitude of references to exist and move transiently amongst each other. Conversely, the works also employ a sense of elusiveness, as if they exist in a momentary state of unemployment, perhaps in relation to knowledge, or just an unsureness of itself. However, these apprehensions and underlying anxieties are merely critical tools. For it is the matter of countering the unequivocalness in things, to create, force holes or in-betweens. To free up words and to allow for connections, and linkages, that would not otherwise be seen or heard.

Tom Bull was born in Northampton, he now lives and works in London. In 2018 he graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins, and is currently an artist resident on the ACME Associate Studio Programme. Tom has previously exhibited in solo shows at five hundred thousand, 148 Mayall Road, as well as exhibiting alongside friends and fellow artists in The Lever Gallery, Bomb Factory, Tenderbooks, TATE Switch house and Blitz Gallery.

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Round Two of 2019's InTheWindow exhibitions kicks off with artist Tom Bull presenting a sculptural representation of an intimate encounter, as two beings share a fleeting moment.

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AirSpace Gallery is a collaborative, artist led project in Stoke-on-Trent, providing professional development opportunities, studio and exhibiting space and support for artists.

Through a dynamic and evolving programme of exhibitions, events and activities AirSpace Gallery brings critical, high quality contemporary art to the region and provides opportunities for a broad range of artists.

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