Cornish artist interview - Bram Thomas Arnold
To continue our series of interviews with Cornish artists, makers and entrepreneurs, meet Falmouth-dwelling artist, Bram Thomas Arnold.
Image: 210 minutes looking at Ben Nevis
Bram Thomas Arnold recently won the Audience Choice Award for his exhibition, How to Walk (Parts 1-9). For this, much of his time was spent in isolation, which has made this recognition all the more appreciated. “A great feeling. We’re all just trying to reach other people somehow aren’t we,” says Bram.
When asked about the journey, Bram regales a story of a tent in the blowing wind, the constant trek towards the horizon and the rhythm this generates. “You realise the horizon is in fact a myth, a creation of the eye in the mind of the viewer. Perhaps through this artwork, decisions are jogged, they can be seen for what they are, an engagement between yourself and something other.”
He describes being an artist as opting to stand on the sidelines of life and to, “watch it go by around you, taking decisions based on your experiences and findings.” However, this doesn’t equate to inactivity. “Answer yes,” he says. “Undertake manual tasks often: fix bikes, grow food, bake bread, repair clothes – do actual things in the real world. Then do whatever you fancy.”
As far as the key to award-winning art, Bram has no single formula. “Previous projects re-emerge in the same way sea birds pop back up in a completely different location to the one they disappeared from. So much happens under the surface. Some people would call it procrastination, but it’s a continuation of a line. There can be no conclusions, each installation or exhibition is a snapshot in time.”
Image: Bram - ' Dial a Poet', End of the Road Festival
“I’m reminded of a quote by Albert Camus from the back of Scott 4 by Scott Walker, ‘A man's work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.’”