Edward Clydesdale Thomson Bio

studio@edwardthomson.net, sales@edwardthomson.net

Het Wilde Weten
Robert Fruinstraat 35
3021 XB Rotterdam

Wandering through forests, heaths or gardens, sailing on seas and brooks, by boat, by raft or digitally, deep into history and creating visions of the future, Edward Clydesdale Thomson is always searching. It is not about finding one specific thing, but about the process of exploring and learning, time and again, and never doing the same thing twice.

Thomson sees a forest, city, garden, sea or port as places in which ideological points of view, cultural, political or economic, are present simultaneously, as layers of earth, entangled branches, winding alleys and swirling waves. His practice is situated in the midst of such situations, tries to acquire a place there and claim time. During the exhibition Into Nature (2018) he wandered through Drenthe in a self-built studio on wheels, working and experimenting in relation to the heath and the forests, and various other persons and entities that crossed his path, ‘below the soil, between the branches and above the clouds’. After he abandoned his photo camera during his time at the Rijksakademie in 2011, the long-term residency and subsequent exhibition Nothin’ Shakin’ but the Leaves on the Trees (2015) at the Marabouparken Konsthall in Sweden was a major turning point. The exhibition was developed in contact and partnership with people who had a relationship with the nearby primeval forest. In a subsequent project wild care, tame neglect in Huize Frankendael in Amsterdam, he even remained in situ for two years. This resulted in a series of work clothes, an open studio, interventions in the garden, an exhibition, performances, guided tours and a play, always developed in partnerships of various kinds.

In addition to gardens and landscapes, water and the sea also have an important place in Clydesdale Thomson’s practice. For some time, he has been working on the project bound to the miraculous, together with Utrecht University and Breda University of Applied Sciences. In a digital environment, with real-time weather and climate data, they simulate Bas Jan Ader’s iconic work In Search of the Miraculous and his fatal boat trip across the Atlantic Ocean in a tiny sailing boat. The romanticism of the sea, the heroic stories, the forces of nature and also the mystery are brought to life with scientific data. In Middelburg, Clydesdale Thomson had a fishing boat hoisted in and out of the muddy water. spellbound refers to the different histories of that water, the fishing port, but also the slave trade in which the city was involved. The fact that situations are layered is also proved by another project, in Dordrecht: rivier, boot, stad (river, boat, city). Clydesdale Thomson built a replica of a historic tjalk, a typically Dutch sailing ship, with his team, shipbuilders, students and volunteers. The ship is an important symbol of the city, its prosperous history, economy and craftsmanship. After a long period of research and the building of the ship in an open studio that was visited by many people who took an interest in the project, the ship was pulled through the streets of Dordrecht slowly falling apart. The remains will become permanent sculptures. The building of the ship according to ancient customs in a contemporary context, with the people of today, and the event of pulling it through the city give Dordrecht a new story again, a new layer of meaning. Clydesdale Thomson’s projects need a lot of care and attention to embed themselves properly. This means that he always cooperates with his environment and the people in it, and that he has to continually redesign his artistic practice in it. He patiently observes what is there, what was there, and what passes by, in search of deeper insights and experiences, new images and stories, and never the same thing twice.

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CALM BEFORE THE STORM Radius, Delft, The Netherlands 2022
Where Shall We Plant the Placenta? A Tail of a Tub, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2022
spellbound CBK Zeeland, Middelburg, The Netherlands 2022
rivier, boot, stad Dordrecht’s Museum, Dordrecht, The Netherlands ongoing
bound to the miraculous online ongoing
Grazer Kunstverein is moving Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria ongoing
Microplastics Rain Down from the Sky Division of Labour, Art Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2020
Buffer zones Paradise Works, Manchester, UK 2019
landfall O&O funding, CBK, Rotterdam 2019
An exhibition of posters Witte de With, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2018
wild care tame neglect - exhibition Frankendael Foundation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2018
below the soil, between the branches, above the clouds Into Nature, biennial, Drenthe 2018
how to kill a tree Frankendael Foundation, Amsterdam 2018
Tuin van Toorop Jan Tooropstraat, Amsterdam 2018
noon Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland 2017
the necessity of art Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria 2017
wilder beings command Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland 2017
wild care tame neglect Frankendael Foundation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2016
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 O&O funding, CBK, Rotterdam 2014
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
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