Tomas Gittins, a native of Macclesfield in North West England, is an artist whose creative endeavors center around the realms of drawing and design. The underlying theme in his body of work is encapsulated by the phrase "The Joy Must Grow," a conceptual cornerstone that he consistently employs in his artistic expressions. This catchphrase serves as a nuanced play on words, embodying the essence behind his artistic outputs—enabling joy through the portrayal of happiness in diverse forms.
In his solo exhibition, "HEAD SPACE," held in Manchester in May 2023, Tomas showcased a compelling fusion of a 20-foot mural alongside 13 canvases, meticulously crafted with a combination of spray paint and acrylic. These vibrant depictions of expressions were deliberately scaled for maximum impact. Each visage brought to life by Tomas serves as a tangible manifestation of feelings and expressions translated into reality. His art is a deliberate exercise in externalizing emotions, providing a visual relief from self-containment.
Tomas Gittins creates characters that serve as reflections of his own thoughts and emotions. These external expressions serve to alleviate the weight of self-containment, materializing into physical forms displayed with the intent to evoke positive responses and emotions. The repetitive and instinctive nature of his creative process suggests a seamless tracing over something pre-existing, marking the spontaneous emergence of his expressions.
In the installation titled "54," Tomas presents a conceptual wall of mirrors, or a 'reflection of self.' Each canvas within this collection becomes a momentary reflection of the artist, encapsulated within a frame and offered to the onlooker as a gift of happiness. This reflective installation not only provides insights into Tomas' headspace from multiple perspectives but also underscores the resemblance between the artworks and the artist himself.
Having spent his formative years in Macclesfield, Tomas Gittins draws inspiration from various sources, including popular animated TV shows from the 2000s. His iconography features playful and affectionate characters, seamlessly transposed onto diverse mediums such as canvases, billboards, buildings, and garments. The vibrant color palette he employs is a nod to his experiences living in Cape Town and his mother's native Brazil.
In his recent exhibition at Dijonss, Brick Lane, London, Tomas continued to expand on the theme of "The Joy Must Grow." Presenting 11 large-scale canvases, this body of work serves as a documentation of his emotions and the external manifestation thereof. In contrast to "HEAD SPACE," these 'poortraits' exhibit a more calculated and detailed approach. The meticulous layering over the same shapes results in faces that appear almost stamped and engraved into the canvas, reflecting a journey of complex emotions. Each character is framed with a painted white border, emphasizing their confinement to the canvas.
This series represents a curated yet playful presentation of self, offering a deeper glimpse into Tomas Gittins, his art, and the continuous pursuit of bringing joy through expressive creations. As Tomas ventures beyond his familiar 'home' territory, this solo exhibition allows for an exploration of his artistic evolution over time, showcasing a dynamic and multifaceted artist dedicated to the growth of joy through his distinctive visual language.