Edward Clydesdale Thomson Bio
wild care tame neglect Frankendael Foundation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands current
poster club Het Wilde Weten, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2017
The Society Machine Malmo Konstmuseum, Malmo 2016
Static Gravity Het Wilde Weten, Rotterdam 2016
Crossing Borders Expanding Frontiers ramfoundation, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2016
As the lake said to the boat Kunsthuis SYB, Beetsterzwaag, The Netherlands 2015
Nothin Shakin but the Leaves on the Trees Marabouparken konsthall, Sunsbyberg, Sweden 2015
Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain CCA Derry~Londonderry, Lismore Castle Arts St Carthage Hall 2015
Belief and Productivity: A Play in the Forest O&O funding, CBK, Rotterdam current
The Non Urban Garden: tuinen van de 21e eeuw Afdh & Kunstvereniging Diepenheim 2014
iaspis Open House, spring 2014 iaspis, Stockholm 2014
The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter Yeo Workshop, Singapore 2013
The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter
Documentation, ‘The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter’, painted steel hosepipe stand, rolled pattern on wall, paint, hose-pipe, hose reel, 3d printed hose pipe nozzle, Marimekko patterned textiles knotted into rope, painted steel prop, 2013
The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter
Documentation, ‘The Plumbing Subverter’, painted steel hosepipe stand, hose-pipe, hose reel, 3d printed hose pipe nozzle, 2.2m by 1.5m by 1.3m, 2013
The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter
Documentation, ‘The Distracted Gardener’, ‘Reluctant Soft Furnishings’, , Marimekko patterned textiles knotted into rope, painted steel prop, steel eyelets, 190cm by 35cm by 25cm, 2.6m by 2.2m, 2013
The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter
Documentation, ‘The Plumbing Subverter’, ‘causa finalis’, painted steel hosepipe stand, hose-pipe, hose reel, 3d printed hose pipe nozzle, rolled pattern on wall, paint, 2.2m by 1.5m by 1.3m, 2.2m by 5.2m, 2013
The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter
Documentation, ‘The Plumbing Subverter’, ‘causa finalis’, painted steel hosepipe stand, hose-pipe, hose reel, 3d printed hose pipe nozzle, rolled pattern on wall, paint, 2.2m by 1.5m by 1.3m, 2.2m by 5.2m, 2013
The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter
Documentation, ‘The Distracted Gardener’, ‘Reluctant Soft Furnishings’, , Marimekko patterned textiles knotted into rope, painted steel prop, steel eyelets, 190cm by 35cm by 25cm, 2.6m by 2.2m, 2013
The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter
Documentation, ‘The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter’, painted steel hosepipe stand, rolled pattern on wall, paint, hose-pipe, hose reel, 3d printed hose pipe nozzle, Marimekko patterned textiles knotted into rope, painted steel prop, 2013
The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter
Documentation, ‘causa finalis’, rolled pattern on wall, paint, 2.2m by 5.2m by, 2013
The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter
Documentation, ‘The Plumbing Subverter’, painted steel hosepipe stand, rolled pattern on wall, paint, hose-pipe, hose reel, 3d printed hose pipe nozzle, 2.2m by 2.3m by 1.3m, 2013
The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter
Documentation, ‘The Plumbing Subverter’, painted steel hosepipe stand, rolled pattern on wall, paint, hose-pipe, hose reel, 3d printed hose pipe nozzle, 2.2m by 2.3m by 1.3m, 2013
The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter
Documentation, ‘The Plumbing Subverter’, painted steel hosepipe stand, hose-pipe, hose reel, 3d printed hose pipe nozzle, 2.2m by 1.5m by 1.3m, 2013
The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter
Documentation, ‘The Distracted Gardener’, Marimekko patterned textiles knotted into rope, painted steel prop, steel eyelets, 2013
The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter
Documentation, ‘The Plumbing Subverter’, painted steel hosepipe stand, rolled pattern on wall, paint, hose-pipe, hose reel, 3d printed hose pipe nozzle, 2.2m by 2.3m by 1.3m, 2013
The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter
Documentation, ‘The Plumbing Subverter’, painted steel prop, 190cm by 35cm by 25cm, 2013

Clydesdale Thomson’s practice revolves around a fixation with notions of landscape, specifically in their relation to identity and ideology. Ideas of landscape have for centuries been at the centre of man’s imagining of nature, our relationship to it, and our place in the universe. The various evolutions of and debates surrounding landscape or garden traditions throughout the Western world has also made it the site of contestions for idealogies, both cultural and political, and, increasingly, economical.

The presentations and re-presentation of the natural environment as cultural contructs figures strongly in many of Clydesdale Thomson’s works. His interest in the ideological notions behind landscape traditions and their subsequent assimilation as popular symbols used on lifestyle products led him to create works that map these once potent ideologies with current consummerist tendencies, at once provoking a reexamination of historical models of landscape architecture while challenging our perception of these visual vistas.

The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter is an extension of Clydesdale Thomson’s investigations. The gardener, as creator and caretaker of the garden, is both part of and apart from the scene he creates—he does not exist without it and yet is invisible within it. In this exhibition, the garden, as a personification of the gardener, is an abstract spatial environment that alludes to our fixation with ‘bringing’ nature into our lives which, ironically, de-naturalises it—the decorative pattern rolled onto the walls is foliage but also wallpaper; the exterior becomes interior, or rather, the exterior is interior.

As much as they are a way of looking at the world, notions of landscape are essentially experiential—we occupy the same space as the place we try to behold. At the heart of Clydesdale Thomson’s sculptural installation is an exploration of spatial relations. The line or boundary (as in his sculptures of single, twisted/angled lines) is a metaphorical space that we formulate, then negotiate, and finally transgress. They define the space we inhabit and create a visual field that is possible to comprehend on a human scale. Draped with Marimekko fabrics, famous for their nature-inspired iconic designs since the 1960s, Clydesdale Thomson’s sculptures are reminiscent of topiaries that give form to nature and therefore inversely define the space which surrounds them. Yet it is not what is before or beyond these demarcations that matter but our relationship to them—our body performs the sculptures’ function; the sculptures give our body scale.

Clydesdale Thomson believes that art does not need to be in constant address to its audience but that it can sleep and wake as we do. As his sculptures rest together, there is also a prevailing sense of their permanent existence well beyond the moment of our experience within the gallery space, just as nature is essentially indifferent to our existence. In The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter, the artist presents the everyday, his sculptures living as though moments in daily life, mimicking design tropes associated with domestic landscapes; whether a garden fence, washing line, wall paper or a carpeted floor. Through freeing up his materials from their intended function, the works in the exhibition open up new readings and invite a re-interpretation of the world around us.

text, Khim Ong & Audrey Yeo

Yeo Workshop

Download The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter in PDF.

Download Installing the Distracted Gardener ESSAY in PDF.

Late Nights & Early Mornings Kunstraum, London 2013
25 Years Rotterdam City Collection Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam 2013
Here is always somewhere else Forum Triangulare, Oud-Rekem, Belgium 2013
Abilities Jeanine Hofland Contemporary Art, Amsterdam 2013
Lost & Found at the Flügelbus Lost & Found, Amsterdam 2013
causa finalis Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam 2012
As if an entrance is over there- Lecturis, Eindhoven 2012
Rijksakademie Open 2012 Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdamm 2012
The research and destroy department of the Black Mountain College W139, Amsterdam 2012
We are rolling galerie-j, Geneva 2012
There was a Country where They were all Thieves Jeanine Hofland Contemporary Art, Amsterdam 2012
Secret Gardens TENT, Rotterda, 2012
FlowerCASTLE Kasteel Keukenhof Art Foundation, Lisse 2011
Rijksakademie Open 2011 Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam 2011
a green thought, in a green shade Art Amsterdam MK Gallery 2011
Prix de Rome 2011 Smart project space, Amsterdam 2011
Borderline Picturesque & the Recounting Prospect Tromsø Kunstforening, Tromsø, Norway 2010
New Graffiti, Old Revolutions MK gallery, Rotterdam 2010
A group show Croxhapox, Ghent 2010
Done to a dead end & the dead or alive sale SD&G, Rotterdam 2010
Edward Clydesdale Thomson SECONDroom, Brussels 2009
A Leopard, Some Monkeys, Numerous Butterflies, Dozens of Peacocks and a Sublime Vista 4th Issue NOWISWERE, Contemporary Art Magazine, London 2009
Open Office for Words ADA, Rotterdam 2009
Imaginary Cinema - Discussion WDW 653, Rotterdam 2009
Residency at Het Wilde Weten, Rotterdam WDW 653, Rotterdam 2009
Impromptu Affairs DEK 22, Rotterdam 2009
Selbstzweck Private Collection 2008
Residency at Kysten Tromsø Kysten Tromsø 2008
Small Talk with the Janitor Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam 2008
My Travels with Barry, MA Graduation Show Tent, Rotterdamt 2008
Just what is it that makes that thing so different, so appealing? Expodium, Utrecht 2008
Observing Construction NEST, Netherlands Architectuurinstituut (NAi) Rotterdam 2007
This is how it must feel to be there Pakhuismeesteren, Rotterdam 2007