Molly Thomson’s work concerns the performance of the painting as an object, using the conventional painting panel as a springboard for action and a vehicle for thought. She is interested in conditions that confine, resist and limit, and in what happens when those given conditions are subject to question and boundaries are breached.
The process begins with de-stabilising the traditional rectangular format through acts of cutting that destroy the panel’s symmetry and begin to animate the object; this interrupts any suggestion of a spatial “window” and can bring the normally invisible sub-structure into play. Conventionally, paintings present only their facades but these paintings may own up to their edges and internal spaces. Like attitudes or desires, their re-shapings have consequences. Mistakes must be accommodated, new relationships established.
Operating between such acts of damage and reparation, she looks for a kind of concentration that can be reached through the excisions, shifts and accumulations. She sees the objects as adopting a kind of stance or behaviour, sometimes in relation to other elements. They are newly ordered, but not without uncertainty, some depending on their partners, others sitting in precarious balance with one another.
Modest in scale and means, the painting-objects insist on their material presence and the process that shaped them. In their altered behaviour and imperfect geometries some may not be without allusion to other objects, facades or enclosures. Ultimately, though, they are just themselves.
Molly Thomson was born in Scotland. She studied Fine Art (sculpture) at Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art, followed by an MA (painting) at the Royal College of Art in London. She taught painting at Falmouth College of Art and the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art before becoming Subject Leader for Painting at Norwich School of Art and Design. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and was a co-guest-editor (with Barbara Howey) of the “Commitment in Painting” issue of the Journal of Contemporary Painting. She currently lives and works in Norfolk.