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Tom Blake

thoughts are metallic they melt in saltwater

Tom Blake Sat 17 Feb – Sun 7 Apr Goolugatup Heathcote - Gallery FREE
  • Australia
Sat 17 Feb – Sun 7 Apr at Goolugatup Heathcote - Gallery, FREE

Presented in association with Goolugatup Heathcote

With a title drawn from a line by Etel Adnan, thoughts are metallic they melt in salt water is a rhythmic, reflective exhibition comprising new video works, cyanotypes, wire drawings, and de-silvered mirrors. Approaching the gallery space as if it were an eddy within a flowing stream, this body of work evokes themes of opacity, disintegration, touch, reflection and the potential for the chaotic within apparent moments of stillness.

Within the eddy there are opaque areas where clouds of silt have been stirred up by the moving water, along with areas where the silt comes to rest, combining with other fragments. These aspects of the eddy become a kind of loose choreographic score, or series of notations, guiding the presentation of the exhibition across the space.

The moving-image component is part of the ongoing series index / silt which sees videos presented across two small screens, looping side-by-side. Each pair of videos starts off in sync, however, due to a slight drift in the frame rate, the images soon diverge, so that the screens are constantly meeting each other in different moments throughout the day. This is echoed in the repetition of allegorical forms, gestures and notations that recur across the de-silvered mirrors, cyanotypes and wire drawings.

Tom Blake

Tom Blake’s practice draws on fragmented moments, looped imagery and recurring motifs as potential sites for contemplating forms of time, language and the psychological, architectural and technological frameworks that surround us. Tom’s work has been presented at Artspace, KNULP, Firstdraft, Institute of Modern Art, Carriageworks, AGWA, AGSA, Fremantle Arts Centre, PICA, Fremantle Biennale, SPRING1883, Sydney Contemporary, the Antarctic Pavilion (Italy) and Tenjinyama (Japan). Tom has undertaken residencies with FAC, PICA, TAFE, Tenjinyama Art Studio, Museo de Arte Moderno (MAM) Chiloé, Megalo, Artsource and Parramatta Artists’ Studios and has previously been awarded a Clitheroe Foundation Mentorship. In 2021, A.P.E published BAUXIDE, an artist book by Tom and Dominique Chen, commissioned as part of the Lost Rocks series. Tom is represented by N.Smith Gallery.


Goolugatup presents an annual program of contemporary art and music across its three heritage gallery spaces and its expansive grounds. The gallery also hosts a commissioning prize each year, alternatively the Digital Art Program and Melville Contemporary. Late each year, it presents a major exhibition as part of Tilt – a significant site-responsive commission.

The gallery is part of the Goolugatup Heathcote cultural precinct, a former hospital overlooking the river in Applecross, WA. The heritage site is home to thriving cultural and recreational activities including a contemporary art gallery, artist studios, creative small businesses, restaurant, public markets and events. Goolugatup is also renowned for sunset river views and expansive children’s playground, both which attract locals and visitors from across the metropolitan area

Time & Location

Sat 17 Feb – Sun 7 Apr

Goolugatup Heathcote - Gallery, 58/60 Duncraig Street, Applecross / Goolugatup


Free Event

Gallery Opening Times

Mon – Sun
10am – 4pm

Exhibition Opening
Fri 16 Feb 6pm

Event Partner


  • Produced by Goolugatup Heathcote, part of the City of Melville. Tom Blake is represented by N.Smith Gallery.


  • 'floating lines' (index) 2022; chair (bo bardi) 2022 hand etched de-silvered mirrors, light boxes artist-made aluminum frames, 40 x 30 cm (2) Courtesy the artist and N.Smith Gallery
  • 'shelves (holding leaves)', 2022 hand etched de-silvered mirror, light box artist-made aluminum frame, 40 x 30 cm Courtesy the artist and N.Smith Gallery
  • 'silt', 2020 wire drawing, various dimensions Courtesy the artist and N.Smith Gallery
  • 'holding' (index, loop), 2022, cyanotype, artist-made frame. Courtesy the artist, N.Smith Gallery and PICA