☰ Jonathan Thomson Art

Human Figure

Almost all of my sculpture is in one way or another connected to the human body. Bodies are universal, we all have one, and it is through our bodies we experience, understand and imagine our world. These sculptures are an embodiment of the ideas and knowledge that come to us through the body and sustain us all.

Sex is the most enduring and most profound theme in art. It is the life force that drives, inspires, delights, consumes and torments us. Hedonism is the pursuit of pleasure where body, sex and spirit come together in sensual self-indulgence as a source of constant delight.

My figurative sculptures are strongly influenced by my growing up on the beach in Australia. The beach is a key part of the Australian imagination and it is now emblematic of the Australian character - laid-back, egalitarian, fit, informal and free.

These figures are a celebration of the joy of youth and reflect the sensual hedonism found on a dazzling clean hot white-sand beach. They embody the sense of ease of people relaxing on the sand, comfortable in their own bodies and communing with nature. They give sculptural expression to the sensual and seductive pleasures of sun, sea, sand and skin that are enjoyed the world over.

For art to have meaning, it’s style must have substance. My figures are simplified and express the sensation of the body as a thing beautiful in itself and not an idealization of beauty. By simplifying volumes and forms and smoothing out all extraneous detail I can focus on the sensuality of the surface. Their nakedness universalises the subject. These figures are also usually faceless and without hair in order to present an Every Man / Every Woman, a palpable presence without any specific race, colour or creed.

My figures do not aspire to anything like lifelike verisimilitude. Without faces and with only rudimentary hands they are obliged to convey emotion solely through the disposition of their bodies and limbs. But through their body language they speak volumes. These figures, sculpted in the round and made to be touched, employ smooth, clean and elegant styling to convey the vitality, voluptuousness and sensuality of the human form.