The Lion Gallery has once again been pleased to award a prize to an outstanding student at the Hereford College of Arts, 2018 Summer Show. Over thirteen years we have been pleased to mentor and support new designers and give them the additional opportunity of exhibiting with us. Past winners have included ceramicists and jewellers, some of whom have continued to work professionally and still exhibit at the gallery.
This year’s recipient is Tom Nicolson, a final year student on the BA Hons Artist Blacksmithing course.
He describes his work as an exploration of culture. Using traditional techniques he creates contemporary forms inspired by medieval West African blacksmiths who forged currency bars out of recycled materials. These bars were used as ceremonial objects and as dowry pieces containing steel from broken tools used by previous generations, as proof of labour and to be traded as currency.
Tom’s modern interpretation also includes recycled material and takes the form of ‘wearable art’, dramatic neckpieces with a tribal feel. The fluidity of design caused by the molten metal means his work can also stand alone as striking sculptural pieces in their own right.