Tam Joseph is an artist who likes to keep moving forward with his practice. Some artists choose to develop what they hope will be distinctive styles with which to find a place for themselves in the art world. Others might spend years in search of what they hope will be a recognisable signature. Tam Joseph is an artist determined to let his creativity move freely, in any given number of directions, as this new body of work so ably demonstrates. Various audiences might cherish Tam for work produced in earlier years, but the artist is here to tell us, or to show us, that whatever work we might have previously identified him with, he has, most assuredly, moved on to ever more innovative ways of making paintings and sculptures. In the words of the artist, “it is very important for me to keep moving to explore new ideas and reacting to the times, experimenting with new materials and generally having fun, but you know how people are once they've stuck a label on an artist, they are not happy when the person wants to move on.”
It is apparent that Tam Joseph enjoys all aspects of what can be described as the creative process, from the point at which ideas are conceived, through to the realising of these ideas - the making of the work itself. He draws inspiration, first and foremost, from his environment - the world around him, and the world in which he lives. Beyond that, he draws inspiration from the Internet, magazines and his own considerable archive of photographs and other images. He has a keen eye for the vagaries and the absurdities of world that has been created around us, a world in which we are all, to varying degrees, implicated. But rather than simply passively absorbing the news through mainstream media, or even through the increasingly hegemonic realm of social media, the artist chooses to reflect on events and on popular culture by making his own, decidedly original artistic interventions. He describes his art as being “located at the centre of social and political, religious, and mystical commentary with a generous dash of a lifelong interest in science fiction.” Such is the heady cocktail of influences that inform the making of his work.
Audiences will find no shortage of ways of approaching Tam Joseph's work. Refreshingly free of fashionable trends in recent and contemporary art practice, the artist's work represents an intriguing coming together of pronounced and profound moments of creative lucidity.
CV & Education
Qualifications and training
1973 - BA, DIP/AD PGCE, Central School of Art, Slade School of Art,London College of Printing, Buckinghamshire
1995 - Tam Joseph, 1984 London, Barbican Centre 1986 London,Comic Iconoclasm London ICA, Camden Libraries 1988 Cornwall, Newlyn Orion, London, Bedford Hill Gallery 1989 Touring exhibition London: The Showroom London: The Royal Festival Hall Sterling: Smith Art Gallery Rochdale: Art Gallery Colchester: The Minories 1991 Greenwich Citizens Art Gallery 1995 London Tricycle Theatre 1997 Bradford, Museums and Art Galleries Sheffield, Mappin Art Gallery 1999 Carlisle, Tullie HoSheffield: Mappin Art Gallery, UK
2007 - Summer school, Crisis Skylight, London
1990 - UK Billboard project, North England