?Roots in Sculpture? an appreciation of Guyanese Sculptor Ivor Thom at UWI’s EBCCI from November 22 ? December 20, 2008

In 1979 after graduating from Burrowes School of Art, [Ivor Thom] was awarded a scholarship to study art at La Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas in Havana, Cuba. In his third year, Thom was selected as part of a team to work on the casting of one of the largest monuments to be done locally. This exposed him to the various aspects of metal art and led to his involvement with further monumental work.

On Thom?s return to Guyana in 1983, he was appointed officer in charge of Arts and Crafts Department of the Guyana National Service.

In 1990, after an invitation from Professor William Epp of the University of Saskatoon in Canada, Thom journeyed to Saskatchewan to conduct workshops in artistic metal casting using the green or French sand technique. At the same time, he studied the lost wax method via the ceramic shell technique.

Thom?s works are in private collections in many countries around the world, including a permanent exhibit at the Josip Broz Tito Art Gallery of Non-Aligned Countries, in what was Yugoslavia.

This illustrious passage illuminated the career of the master-sculptor who favours the “lost-wax” technique for his metallurgy. Mr Thom says if he does not spend at least five minutes doing some form of art for one day then he considers that a wasted day!

In his opening address at the Errol Barrow Centre over the weekend, the Guyanese artist stated that art is a jealous field in that it demands your total attention as you set about to create shape from an unformed void.

In Mr Thom’s view – a sculptor may use wood, stone, metal or the materials but he CREATES and therefore he is an ARTIST! He quoted his mentor Stanley Greaves who believed in the following aphorism – Your work you like while creating, but once accomplished you dislike when done!

Pieces to watch out for? I Man, which is steel welded on to wire.

Cry Freedom

Middle Passage

Mad Cow Dancing

Also at the show is the ubiquitous Moussa Sene Absa, whose paintings adorned the walls of the same room exhibiting some of Ivor Thom’s works.

None of his canvasses have titles, he says whatever you perceive them to be they are! He thinks it is the differences that make everyone draw closer together.

You have until the 20th of December to pass by and appreciate for your self!

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