Thom Roberts sees the world through a kaleidoscope lens. People, transport and infrastructure systems are interpreted as colourful multiples. 

A tangarra train is named Kylie and also perceived as the Gold Coast Tower. Thom himself identifies as the Country Link Express train and the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai. Thom’s unique perception of identities are also read through the equally particular channel of people’s ‘crowns’ (the spiral of hair on the top of a person’s head). Thom loves to peer into people’s crowns. There he finds millipedes, collie dogs and cows bodies. Using all this information Thom ceremoniously bestows people with new identities, and translates them, enigmatically, in painting. 

Thom works across painting, drawing, installation, animation and performance, and is an awarded and recognized contemporary Australian artist. In 2021 he was a finalist in the Archibald Prize and his portrait of Studio A Chairman Shane Simpson was selected to hang as the primary exhibition banner on the AGNSW facade. Thom has been curated into some of Australia’s most prestigious exhibitions - The National 2019, Salon des Refusés (2018), Sydney Contemporary (2017), Cementa (2017), The Big Anxiety Festival (2017) and 20/20 Shared Visions: 40 Years of Collecting Australian Art (2020) - and has undertaken important residencies both here and abroad, at Carriageworks, Bundanoon Trust and Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio (Cesana, Italy) with celebrated theatre maker Chiara Guidi. He has received major public and private commissions from the City of Sydney, Westpac and Artbank, and worked with a number of esteemed Australian artists and designers including Mud Australia, One Another and Erth Physical and Visual Theatre Inc. Thom’s work is held in numerous public and private collections, including Artbank. 

Curated by Kelly McDonald 


image caption: Thom Roberts, The Architect, 2021. photo and copyright: Chistopher Haysom.

Wednesday 15 March - Sunday 28 May

The Cube, Level 1, Mosman Art Gallery