To see the latest work by painter Thom Buchanan you are invited to venture into SkyCity Adelaide’s Baccarat Pavilion. The successful recipient of the Guildhouse 2020 Lunar New Year Commission, Buchanan has created a large-scale triptych to celebrate the Year of the Rat.
Buchanan is an artist fascinated by urban and city landscapes and is well known for his detailed and layered paintings, street art and live drawings. He creates a seductive sense of perspective and depth in his work, carrying the viewer down long never-ending streets or across cityscapes that blur between night and day.
For this new commission he depicts three cityscapes inspired by his hometown Adelaide and travels to Shanghai and Hanoi. He says, “A horizon runs through each work as a point of connection and journey, celebrating humanity travelling across and through space.”
Despite the ubiquitous presence of rats in most cities, there are none to be seen in this work. Buchanan incorporates more symbolic references such as the colours blue, green and gold which are lucky for people born under the sign of the rat. Lucky numbers 2, 3 and 8 are also present and Buchanan says, “The numbers float like hieroglyphs across the flatness of the surface to create a 3D spatial feel in a 2D space.”
This commission kicks off a busy year for Buchanan, a prolific artist who manages to work full-time on his practice. He is creating a new body of work to take to the Affordable Art Fair in New York together with Emma Hack Gallery. This is the second time that Buchanan has been part of the Art Fair and he says, “It is essential to show work overseas to reach new audiences, network and connect with collectors.”
He will also travel to Scotland with his partner Lina Limosani who is touring her dance work ‘Spinners’. The two often collaborate creating installations and performance works, focussing on light and movement. Despite this busy schedule, Buchanan is eager to spend as much time as he can in his studio, he is driven to explore new ideas and techniques and says with firm conviction, “All I really want to do is paint.”