Tom Dale is a London-based artist and film maker who explores the absurd and the preposterous. He is noted for his witty gestures and subversive commentaries on the material conditions of everyday life. Dale’s sculptural works involve re-purposing found or fabricated objects and appear as outlandish propositions inviting sense-making. Dale is interested in phenomenological questions where the viewers perceptual experiences and narratives are as central to the making of the work as any meaning he might intend as a part of the works he creates.
Dale defines himself as an artist who doesn’t paint, he works across different media — sculptural objects, video and installation. His oeuvre includes, the Evel Knievel-inspired stunt-ramps in Memorial Drag Strip, 2011, not only a tribute to life or death, or to the stuntman himself, but can also be seen to be an interrogation of the values of patriotism as well as offering an expose on American masculinity. The ramps Dale designs would undoubtly cause horrendous injuries rather than they would showcase stunt mastery, but perhaps what Dale intends is for us to think about the risks of not questioning both sets of values. Another of his works is a set of bronze-cast rockets he calls The Mighty Crowns, 2012 which lean like limp monuments against a gallery wall — unable to take off, or reign over our skies, raising questions about the limits of human endeavour. But it is Dale’s 2.39 minute film Shot Through, 2007, that really captures the human imagination. It was described by someone as the most “rock’n’roll piece of contemporary art I can remember seeing”. In this work Dale sets up a full drumkit in a forest clearing and films the shooting of it with a gun until the kit lurches into deathly silence. While seemingly a homage to both rock’n roll and the Western movie, it prods us to think about desire and the impulses we have to act or react, and the inherent dangers of thrill seeking.
Tom Dale graduated from Goldsmiths College, London in 2006 with an MA in Fine Art and he holds a BA (Hons) in Sculpture from Sheffield Hallam University. His work is held in a number of public and private collections. Solo exhibitions include A Cage For Voices, Channel 4 Random Acts, 2017, The Black From The The Blue, Raster Gallery, Warsaw, 2017, Dragnets Spell, MKAC, Milton Keynes, 2016, Black Attols, NIMAC, Nicosia, Cyprus, 2015-2016, Department of the Interior, Copperfield, London, 2014, Terminal Blue, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, 2014.