Tom Dent believes that objects have two lives. Manufactured objects’ first lives are the original purposes intended by the designer, architect, or craftsman. Natural objects’ first lives occur while they are actively tended and nurtured. Their second lives are usually much longer and come after they are put aside.
Often people quickly dismiss these abandoned objects as being ugly or no longer useful, or worse yet, pass them by without seeing them at all. However the moment things are put aside or cease being used is exactly when they start to get more interesting. They take on nature’s graffiti: metal blooms with corrosive color even while it flakes toward death; organic objects host intricate encrustations. Their imperfections make them more intriguing than when they were fresh, shiny and new. In Dent’s work, he focuses on the beauty of these abandoned objects.
Most of his photographs are made outdoors as the scene was found; shot with available light and a simple set-up of a camera, tripod, and patience to wait for the right moment. His graphic design education shows in each photograph as he treats it as though it were a poster. Each design component—cropping, light, color, balance, form, pattern and texture—is carefully considered.
Dent is constantly looking for fresh subjects and inspiration, recently he has been moving toward abstraction and expanding into mixed media; both are entirely new areas for him.
Summer gallery hours are Thursday 5-8pm, Fridays