Thom Roberts has a fascination and deep personal connection with trains. He sees them as having their own personalities and characters; they are his friends.
Sydney’s CityRail trains inspire many of Thom’s paintings. Past bodies of work involve him attributing characteristics to each train, then painting portraits of these imagined train-people: some take on the character of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street, others a Rhinoceros.
Thom Roberts’ painting practice is one part of his varied oeuvre: a keen collaborator Thom has also worked in performance, video animation, installation, and design. He works closely with Studio A to partner with organisations such as Erth Visual and Physical Theatre, One Another Design and mud Australia, as well as working collaboratively with artist, Harriet Body.
Thom is a skilled draftsman, well able to quickly translate landscapes and portraits in a traditional and representational artistic style. Yet, Thom’s primary interest is in his installation practice. In 2013 Thom was a awarded an Amplify emerging artists grant, in 2016/17 he is a collaborating artist on the birdfoxmonster project with Erth Visual and Physical inc, supported by Carriageworks, and in 2017 he exhibited at Cementa Festival in Kandos.
In 2014 Thom began a collaborative project with artist, Harriet Body called ‘Thom and Angelmouse’. In 2015 Thom and Angemouse were exhibiting artists in the Underbelly Arts Festival on Cockatoo Island. In 2016 they contributed to an exhibition of contemporary art for children at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, and in 2017 are creating new work for Big Anxiety, a city-wide festival examining art and mental health.