ArtRage 2023 artist profile: Thomas

ArtRage 2023 artist Thomas stands next to his work, entitled Self Discovery

Image: ArtRage 2023 artist Thomas with his piece, Self Discovery. Photo: QVMAG. 

On hearing the news that he received a High Recommendation in ArtRage 2023, Thomas had an intense reaction.  

"I nearly fainted," he admits. "I was so honoured. I wanted to get in last year and I didn't. So, to be part of something that I wanted to be a part of — I think it's a dream. I think I need to wake up now." 

While three of Thomas' works are featured in the ArtRage exhibition, they are part of a larger installation. "There's a lot more boards — this was part of an 18-part collection," he explains.  

"My work is called Self Discovery, and it is focused on self-discovery and pain. I wanted to make sure that the concept and the work are completely the same. So, I destroyed my work — I burnt it, I put holes in it, I scratched it, I added texture. I painted it with abstract gestural marks — I made homemade tools, like whips, dipped them in paint, and threw them around.  

"It's like Jackson Pollock - he was one of my inspirations. But I wanted to do it my own way." 

ArtRage 2023 - Thomas Crack, Self Discovery (2023)

Image: Thomas Crack, Self Discovery (2023). Photo: QVMAG. 

Thomas is keen for audiences to engage with his work. "I want people to be involved in it. Even though my concept is strong, and it translates through the work, I don't want my concept to turn you off. I want you to have your own perspective on it and your own look at it; and for that to be valued in my work." 

Thomas' advice for Year 11 and 12 art students who wish to be involved in ArtRage is one that reflects his own journey. "Do your best," he said. "If you're not selected, don't feel disappointed. It's not the end of the world, no one's telling you that your work's not good enough.  

"Just make sure that you're doing it for the right reasons — that it's meaningful, that you're doing what you want to do. There are students in my school who have been doing stuff that they didn't want to do — they weren't motivated to go to art, or do anything in the art community within the school. Make sure you're doing something that you want to do." 

Thomas is excited to share his work in this touring exhibition. "It's such a big honour, I love every second of it. I love that ArtRage goes around Tasmania. People from Hobart and Devonport, all those people, seeing my work — that's crazy. It's crazy, people knowing my name, and being highly recommended… what the hell."