The Tom Project
January 2019 - April 2019
Exhibition October 2019 'Out of Sight Out of Mind', Summerhall, Edinburgh, with the Scottish Mental Health Art Festival
Tom is a personified anxiety monster. Having experience from anxiety, I became frustrated with the illness and sometimes just wanted to scream it out. By having something to shout at, and not something invisible, relieved this tension. I believe people needed a way to stand up to anxiety and refuse to let it beat them. Creating this character opened that opportunity.
Made from air drying clay, Tom is only around few centimetres tall. By creating his own online platform through Facebook, he was able to come to life. He would 'post' images and captions, for example, "You will never be good enough." The audience is then highly encouraged to fight back against him in the comment sections; some saying "I can do this." or telling him to go away, or even swearing at him.
Due to the successful interactions from the audience, it was important that there was an outcome to their battle. In the last few weeks, Tom was slowly destroyed by a hammer with the video showcasing on the Facebook platform.
Tom was then successfully accepted into the Out of Sight Out of Mind exhibition at Summerhall, Edinburgh, run by the Scottish Mental Health Art Festival throughout October 2019.
The Facebook page 'Tom' remains open at https://www.facebook.com/AnxietyTom/