Ep.196 Tom Waugh - Ministry of Arts Podcast

In this episode Gary Mansfield speaks to Tom Waugh (@tomwaughsculptor)


With a background in classical stone sculpture, Tom Waugh uses traditional materials and techniques to create contemporary works of art. Stone and marble sculptures, carved in minute detail, depict waste objects, discarded in the wake of human consumption. The objects document the casual imprints of human use. Plastic bags, cardboard boxes and tin cans are squashed, crushed and wrinkled whilst still displaying the traces of mass production. Some of the sculptures are life size, others are larger than life, and some appear, like fossils, emerging from the pristine rock. Materials are carefully chosen to achieve realism: white marble takes on the appearance of plastic or polystyrene, ironstone becomes rusty metal and Portland Stone is transformed into crumpled cardboard.


In Toms Sculptures there are echoes of classical and baroque statuary. He studied closely the techniques whereby marble could be carved to look like flesh, hair or fabric, and in his own work, evokes the same qualities of form and surface texture. Despite his use of traditional materials and techniques, there are tensions and contradictions in Toms work: between classical and contemporary art; between temporality and permanence; and between humour and serious environmental and social issues. These contradictions can present a cognitive dissonance, challenging ideas of material value, and prompting second look at the things we take for granted.


For more information on the work of Tom Waugh go to




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