Tom Allwright - A little History


I spent my early "learning years" at an Art school in Weston-Super-Mare under the influence of its much admired principal, Warren Storey R.W.A. who, being an outstanding teacher, inspired me and many other students with a profound passion in the visual arts of all disciplines. From the fifteenth century painters to Degas and the French Impressionists; the turn of the nineteenth century and the developing Camden School; Wilson Steer, Walter Sickert, Harold Gilman, Spencer Gore; Ruskin Spear, Augustus John, Graham Sutherland and Stanley Spencer - all supreme draughtsmen. There were also very fine women painters to be admired and I spent sometime in the life studio under the watchful eye of Gertrude Hermes at what was then the London Central School, although by this time I had a very good position in Graphic Design with an extremely large Multi-National Company.

These were the days of National Service, I had previously joined the Royal Marines for two years - Per Mare Per Terram, great stuff! - before returning to "Design".

Across the pond my dear friend John, from the Weston-super-Mare days, had moved on from "The Central" to graduate at "Yale". He set the bar very high and is still influential in design and art in it's many disciplines "over there". In the States designers and artists were then influenced by the "refugees" from the Bauhaus, some of whom taught at Yale. What a grounding John had... and he is also a very accomplished painter! Those painters and designers had a profound influence upon the development of graphic design in the USA and, in turn, the UK. Typography being an important discipline and, without the use of computers, designers were taught to manually "mark up" their own type and set and paste up galleys for finished art and print.

For some time I was involved with the manufacturing and retail world, much concerned with production, marketing, patents and product development.

I then spent some time living in New England, on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, USA. At this time I was involved in landscape painting in both watercolour and oils, selling several paintings to private collectors in the USA.

Latterly a great deal of my creative life was involved with graphic design. My company Graficas Design is concerned with a full range of projects from Corporate Identity, Package Design, product branding, Exhibition Design, Website Design, Book Design* and publishing. The computer reigned over the brush... but now, it has to stand aside, for the landscape and the brush takes precedence.

Now, I am trying to work most of my time in my "other" studio, painting, using oil brush and it's unique signature and texture of colour as it combines to create the illusions revealed by our vision of landscape.

Having grown up in and around Wells in Somerset, I have the greatest sympathy for the natural landscape and not some ethereal world of pseudo fantasy. Urban and modern media driven metropolitan life and it's relentless influences, always with it's constant "look at me" demands - brash bullying and pagan.