b. 1980, Brighton
Tom Harrup graduated with a Fine Art BA from Cardiff in 2004. He continued to exhibit kinetic sculpture and work professionally in Cardiff, most recently as technician at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, until relocating to Glasgow. It was from an early age that Tom began to work directly with materials and change his environment, making miniature settlements from earth, stone and wood in the garden of his parents’ house in the early 90’s. Cardboard and Sellotape structures were also utilised as a means to make real the imagined. The notion that civilisation could prosper in a tiny mud village, or that shapes of adjoined card contained some trace of conceptual intent remains as an important experience, and a foundation for his current sculptural work.
Time is a key element in the making of Tom’s work; a material is subjected to a series of processes, and the repetition of that labour accumulates as a new form. The carved underground cities in the region of Kapodokya in Turkey are a great influence in his sculpture. Consequently, tables, doors, radios or plastic sound systems are dismantled and re-organised, their innards inverted and revealed, or disjointed as solitary fragments. Alternatively, interior spaces are carved in card and plasterboard, built by stacking flat shapes, like contour lines on a map or the additive process of 3-D modelling; in this sense, for the work to continue he must always refer to what has gone before.