Thomas Lumley





Zimbabwe 2005-2006


Between the Essence and the Descent

18th - 22nd November 2014
Carousel, 71 Blandford Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 8AB

Influenced by film noir, Adam Curtis montages and the early 20th century art of Paul Nash and Graham Sutherland, the distinct and emotive oil paintings of Thomas Lumley stand between portraiture, abstraction and landscape.

For his largest exhibition to date, Lumley presents a body of works comprised of interiors and landscapes whose low key lighting and unbalanced compositions suggest loss as much as presence; nostalgia, change and longing; and draw the viewer into an internal world in which they become a participant.

Lumley's origins are in portraiture, and this history is present in works which present a void filled by the viewer. Rather than become voyeur, the act of looking transforms the viewer into subject as they enter an immersive experience and are drawn into a series of corridors that intersect, connect and run down stairs towards an exit: a closed door.

Likewise, Lumley's landscapes are held static by freezing fog and each feature a subtle, golden guiding light, which takes the viewer to their chosen conclusion, either out into the wilderness or back home. At times, a solitary figure is suspended within these hollow spaces. This emerges as self-portrait, continuing the dual-relationship between audience and artist as viewer and subject.

These interiors and landscapes are all places encountered by the artist as a child, although remain devoid of age and reference to era; in fact, in their visual references to Velazquez and Titian these paintings could derive from any moment in time over the past few hundred years.

This exhibition marks a significant moment within Thomas Lumley's career as he enters a new genre, portraying evocative spaces which rely upon the viewer as participant and invite a subjective interpretation of a constructed world which is at once autobiographical and universal.

Born in Yorkshire and now living and working in London, figurative artist Thomas Lumley Thomas trained at Charles Cecil in Florence and is winner of the Prince of Wales Drawing School Prize at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters 2006.

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