Meet the artist Tom Blachford whose dazzling photographs will be exhibited on ARTITLEDcontemporary's stand during the Afforrdable Art Fair Brussels (22 – 26 September, Tour & Taxis).
Friday 3 September, 2021
Ahead of the Affordable Art Fair Brussels we caught up with Melbourne-based photographer Tom Blachford to discuss the colour blue, nocturnal evenings and the inspiration behind his latest Midnight Moderns series. Tom is represented by Dutch gallery ARTITLEDcontemporary and is a seasoned exhibitor at our fairs globally. Read on to find out more about his moonlit photography.
How were you discovered by your gallery (ARTITLEDcontemorary)?
The same way most of discover anything now-days, on the internet! I have always worked to get my new series pushed out to be best publications I could find which gets the right eyes looking at it. The gallery director and I hit it off and we have now been working together for 5 years.
Your artworks often lend itself to a nightime glow. Are you nocturnal by nature?
Very much so! I hate going to bed and I hate getting up. Night is the time when I can actually concentrate when the distractions of the world disappear for a brief and glorious window. 1am is my favourite time of day.
How would you describe a typical day (or night) in the studio?
No two days are the same for me. My shooting periods are very exhausting and furious as I am usually only in that location for 5-7 days and I am doing most of my scouting and sourcing on the ground. Shooting this series was 6 nights of shooting 8pm-4am straight. For the post-production phase I like to take that as slowly as possible as I find myself forming a picture of the series over time.
Where have you been based this past year? How has the pandemic shifted your practice?
I have been based in my hometown of Melbourne. Our very intense restrictions have meant it has been impossible to shoot anything commercially or even personally as we had many months of curfew where being out at night was banned. As such I have developed an interest in music production so have thrown myself into that. I am also continuing work on an idea I had a few years ago which involves creating 3D rendered images instead of lens-based photography, so that has been able to continue.
How do you approach hanging artwork in your own home?
Big pieces are always better and as many as possible, our house is pretty full! My wife is an amazing photographer as well @kateballis so we have a mix of our work left over from shows but we also try to do trades with artists we love which is so rewarding.
What would you say are the most rewarding or challenging aspects of being an artist today?
For me I think that it is very liberating to see that art and commerce have blurred into one, meaning that artists can work with brands who can provide unparalleled resources and opportunities to do amazing things. It is not seen as selling out anymore, it is just another opportunity afforded to artists outside of the conventional system. Instagram and being able to connect directly with your audience is also amazing. The challenges are obviously more numerous than ever as well, but I think that it breeds resilience and drives things forward, no one can afford to be stagnant for even a minute anymore.
What other areas of art and culture inspire your work?
I love cinema, particularly the neo noir genre and I’m a big lover of music, particularly disco, funk and boogie. Music doesn’t always inspire my work directly but just acts as a reminder to get back to work so I can create things that other people might enjoy and that can live on and be enjoyed for many years.
Do you have a favourite colour – a particular shade even?
Any blue with a hue between 219 and 222 degrees on the colour wheel is my jam.
Don’t miss Tom Blachford’s work on view with ARTITLEDcontemporary at Affordable Art Fair Brussels (22 September – 26 September, Tour & Taxis). Follow the link below to purchase a ticket to the fair.