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international painting annual 4 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Thomasin Dewhurst
Livermore, California

detail image


The human form, through its contours, texture and the stretch of skin over muscle and bone, conveys an emotional and philosophical aesthetic that is the driving force behind my painting and drawing practice. This aesthetic finds expression in the depiction of tactility: the painted or drawn body presented closely within the viewer's personal space and giving the viewer a sense of being able to touch the rendered flesh. By reworking an image numerous times, either by scraping off paint or erasing drawn marks, an expression of tactility emerges through the ghosts of previous images. The subtle remnants of modeled forms, desaturated or grayed colors and blended or smeared marks reduce the depicted body to the essence of its construction. The painted body now merges with and emerges from its aesthetic environment. It is anchored both in reality (the form observed from life) and imagination (its existence and meaning bound to the paper or canvas and painted or drawn marks out of which it appears). Defined by its aesthetic environment the body becomes emotive and narrative. At this point in the development of a work there is a feeling, on my part, of commitment to the image and a fidelity to the story that is presenting itself. The focus is fine-tuned and extraneous elements in a work are removed. The figure is the central means of realizing the narrative, working essentially with form as a means of communication.





born: 1971, United Kingdom


University of the Witwatersrand, MAFA, 1999

Rhodes University, BAFA, 1994


selected awards/honors

Above & Beyond Award for outstanding contribution to Art, Music & Performing Arts Enrichment in Livermore school district, California

Merit Award Winner (2008 ArtKudos International Juried Show)

Finalist (2006 23rd annual Artist's Magazine Competition, Portrait/Figure category)

Rowney Prize (Best Fourth-Year Painting Student) (Rhodes University), 1994


selected publications

Rhodes University Press, "Expression in the depiction of tactility", by Zamuxolo Matiwana, 14th February 2011

The South African Art Times, "The Rhodes Art School and the Influence of the Grahamstown Group" by Jeanne Wright, June 2010

The Independent newspaper, Livermore, California, "Students Sample Music and Art through FAME" by Patricia Koning, May 27th 2010, p. 4, Arts & Education

Financial Mail, South Africa, "Worcester sauce, blood and coffee" by Michael Coulson, 9 June 2000, Arts and Lesure


selected solo or two-person exhibits

The Emergent Body: Paintings and Drawings by Thomasin Dewhurst, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2011

Tactility: denial and desire with Cobus Haupt, iArt Gallery, South Africa , 2009

Exhibition of oil paintings, watercolours and sculptures, The Bill Ainslie Gallery, South Africa, 2000

Exhibition of Paintings, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, 1998


selected group shows

Figurehead Gallery, Livermore, California , 2012

Women's Works 2011, NAAC, Crystal Lake, Illinois, 2011

Target Gallery "WomanMade", Torpedo Factory Art Center, 2010

The Figure Now, Fontbonne University Fine Art Gallery, 2010



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