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Tom Barker was born 1962, Rustington West Sussex, within the sound of the sea. He completed his education with varying degrees of success.
Studied for his Foundation at Worthing College of Art, where he witnessed the recapture from the sea of an escaped circus seal, lured to shore with sardines. Tom studied Fine Art at Central - St Martins.
Whilst at Central - St Martins Tom took part in sketching expeditions to St Just with the eminent draughtsman David Haughton, who, cooked very hot curry and made local headlines when he recorded the first and possibly only Sinclair C5 accident in the West Country.
After graduating Tom moved to South Shropshire in the early part of the century. The subsequent, and increased exposure to historic public houses and local traditions of mythic nonsense - turned his head to the rakish exploits of post civil war Tobys, as well as more recently, the appearance, in those parts, of Diana, Goddess of the hunt, the moon, and woodland.
Influences include: Cross Channel ferries; ‘Chroma’ by Derek Jarman; the qualities of mud in the low January sun; London pubs; time travel; the slow disappearance of colour as night falls; the words of poet Leslie Norris, Pop art; the history that surrounds us & the brushwork of Manet.