I R O N W O R K S - Jeff Thomson
Jeff Thomson Bio
Jeff Thomson, born in Auckland New Zealand in 1957, is Australasia's best known artist working with corrugated iron.
Corrugated iron is Jeff Thomson's life. He can make it dance, sing and tell a story. His sculptures say a lot about New Zealand and the world beyond. While taking a break in 1980 from his Bachelor of Arts degree at Elam School of Fine Arts Auckland, Jeff found himself in Portobello, 20 km out of Dunedin, living in a small seaside crib. It was during that time that a profound change occurred in Jeff Thomson's environment, life and art. It came about through the discovery of an ancient pursuit - walking.
While walking the small towns and rural roads of New Zealand, Jeff began observing and collecting the wealth of highway paraphernalia that he found on the roadsides. These highway experiences culminated in the first of his Rural Letterbox sculptures. A red, vintage corrugated iron, cow on a rural mailbox. This was the first of a body of his work to gain national recognition. Jeff Thomson had come face to face with his chosen material - corrugated iron.
In 1985 Jeff installed a Herd of Corrugated Iron Elephants in Albert Park, Auckland. These were later seen in Wellington's Civic Centre. The love of creating a wonderful array of animals had begun. Today 3 very large corrugated iron Kangaroo can be see at the end of the runway at Canberra Airport, Australia. A small herd of Goats happily graze on a walking track adjacent to the Queenstown Gardens, New Zealand. A group of Giraffe can be seen at The Gibbs Sculpture Farm on the Kaipora Harbour, New Zealand.
Jeff Thomson, although a populist, creates his art works with a great sense of humour. No better examples than his highly acclaimed entries in the Wearable Arts Awards, Nelson New Zealand. His HQ Holden Station Wagon at Tepapa and his huge roadside Gumboot alongside State Highway 1 at Taihape. Jeff has experimented with corrugating anything from vintage oil company cans, ladders, bicycles. Nothing is safe from his corrugating rollers.
Today Jeff Thomson still in New Zealand, lives and works in a huge tin shed. Not surprising really. Jeff Thomson, The Corrugated Iron Man, is a truly international artist, having exhibited in Australia, France, Germany, Japan and the USA.
Gary Mahan Gallery has represented Jeff Thomson in Queenstown / Arrowtown since 2003 with many group and solo shows.