Joel Tomlin

Joel Tomlin (b.1969, Sheffield, UK), studied painting at Chelsea College of Art.


Recent solo exhibitions: Spoke Eye, Belmacz, London (2019); duo exhibition with Felicitas Aga, Atelier Huth, Germany (2019);  Apple, Dice, Knife, duo exhibition with Paul Housley, Sothebys Stockholm, Sweden (2018); Calyx Horse, Belmacz, London (2015), Unplanned Memories, Transition Gallery, London (two person show, 2014); Intoxicated, Max Wigram, London (2005).

Recent Group exhibitions include: B, Belmacz, London (2019); Backyard Sculpture, Domobaal, London (2019), point of view 2019, Randan Barns, Hay (2019); The Ashtray Show West, Belmacz, London (2018), If I Was Your Girlfriend: A Jam, Belmacz, London (2018); The Ashtray Show, 4Cose, London, written contribution to William Morris Society, London (2017); Humble as Hell, Merz Barn, Elterwater (2017); The Names, Transition Gallery, London (2016); A Bestiary, Turf Projects, London (2015); Ludic, Herrick Gallery, London (2015); Naturrelikt und Kunstkonstrukt, Grafikmuseum Stiftung Schreiner, Bad Steben, Germany (2015); Fourth Drawer Down, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham (2014); News from Nowhere, William Morris Society, Kelmscott House, London (2014);  Lions on Water and Women in Love, Belmacz, London (2013); Selected Paintings and Sculpture, Kronach, Germany (2013).


Joel lives and works in London.




William Morris’  journey that he undertook to Iceland in 1870, partly as an act of escapism as his personal life was in disarray, has always fascinated me. The reality of Iceland amazed and mystified Morris, claiming it “that most Romantic of all deserts”. His craftsman’s eye and mind were aroused by the discovery of a living folk art, all taking place in a very austere economy and holding up a harsh mirror to the follies and commercialism of his own era. A culture of simple handmade furniture, sledges and ancient vernacular farmhouses had an effect of transcendence on Morris, one of an atavistic connection to Iceland’s legends and sagas, as with the touch of my own works, the painting (Untitled 2017 {image 2}) gives the sensation of a remote place being brought close, the eye or keyhole to the mystery, “Dreadful with grinding of ice and record of scarce hidden fire”.



Indeed, Morris decided to absorb the origins of the Sagas, travelling alone by pony, observing the sayings, songs and poems of the people he met, which later fed into his visionary politics of fellowship. The sculptures (Untitled 2017, and Adtz 2017) attest to a condition that Morris began to believe in during this period, a Nordic sense of fate known as the ‘Wierd’. This being an origin seeking clairvoyance, a Ju-Ju like sensation that is derived from utilitarian objects and rooms, indeed, the sculptures seemingly simple materials and construction are capable of containing legends, a shared folk memory.



— Joel Tomlin


  • Adtz

    Joel Tomlin

    Adtz, 2017

    wood, tempera, steel, nail
    22 × 62 × 10cm

  • Plaque

    Joel Tomlin

    Plaque, 2015

    wood, gesso, pigment
    43 × 32 × 1cm

  • Untitled

    Joel Tomlin

    Untitled, 2015

    patinated bronze
    8 × 13 × 11cm

  • Embers

    Joel Tomlin

    Embers, 2019

    wood and tempera
    66 x 85 x 36 cm

  • Bonfire

    Joel Tomlin

    Bonfire, 2019

    wood and tempera
    108 x 63 x 44 cm

  • Shrub

    Joel Tomlin

    Shrub, 2019

    wood, leather, and tempera
    104 x 42 x 35 cm

  • Double Machine Gun

    Joel Tomlin

    Double Machine Gun, 2019

    wood, tempera and nail
    38 x 26x 93 cm

  • Comet

    Joel Tomlin

    Comet, 2014

    charcoal and pastel on paper
    32 × 26cm

  • Woad Hare

    Joel Tomlin

    Woad Hare, 2013

    charcoal and tempera on paper
    16.5 × 21.5cm

  • Vernal

    Joel Tomlin

    Vernal, 2015

    patinated bronze
    22 × 65 × 60cm • ed: 6 + 1 AP

  • Fig

    Joel Tomlin

    Fig, 2015

    patinated bronze, pigment
    5 × 6 × 5.5cm


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