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Tom was successful in gaining a permanent cleaning role at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital when it opened in 2017. “Winning the Guildhouse Fellowship means I can quit my job as a cleaner at the RAH and focus on being a full-time artist.” Tom is a three-time Kilgour Prize finalist at Newcastle Art Gallery, four-time Manning Art prize finalist at Manning Regional Art Gallery, and two-time Muswellbrook Open Art Finalist at Muswellbrook Regional Art Gallery, to name only a few. Expressionist in his style, Tom likes to depict the human struggle in his art. His Guildhouse Fellowship will see him explore issues around the failing of neoliberalism leading to social isolation, loneliness and homelessness. “I would like to express in my art our human vulnerability, anxiety and our fragile existence in this modern world” explained Tom. Tom would like to meet with fellow Housing Choices residents who would be willing to share their experiences of loneliness and abandonment. Whilst not wanting to paint their images, he wants to use their experiences as inspiration for his work. If you would be willing to meet with Tom or correspond with him via telephone or email to assist him in this project, please contact the Inclusive Communities Team on 1300 312 447 or email communitydevelopmentsa

Above: Tom with some of his artwork in his studio

Resident profile: bringing light to loneliness through art

He enrolled himself into the Adelaide Central School of Art in 1992 went onto an Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts and began showing his work at group and solo art exhibitions. Tom explained that in 2015, he found himself in a state of homelessness. “I gave up my rental to move back home to care for Mum after she’d had a fall.” He was staying at his sister’s house when he was offered an apartment at Common Ground Adelaide’s Light Square Complex. “I was assigned a Case Coordinator, Kathy,” Tom explained, “She helped me to transfer to the apartment I have lived in for the last six years and even gain casual cleaning employment at Common Ground”.

Housing Choices resident Tom was recently announced as the 2022 recipient of the Guildhouse Fellowship. A resident of Housing Choices Franklin Street apartments, Tom has always been a creative person. He grew up in a working-class household and it wasn’t until he was in his 20’s when he saw a documentary about the Australian artist Sidney Nolan that he realised art could be a career. “It was the first time I’d really thought about making my art my work.”


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