Thomas Freer was born on Dorset’s Isle of Purbeck, famous for its stone quarries and fossils. He spent his early childhood surrounded by traditional stone sculptors, which taught him the importance of immersing oneself in a material and understanding it entirely.
At seven years old, Tom won a scholarship to a local boarding school, where he was taught by some of the country’s most skilled and influential tutors. He held his first exhibition of ceramics and illustrations a year later, aged eight. At twelve he headed off to Radley College in Oxford, which provided world-class technology, art and design facilities.
Tom returned to Dorset aged seventeen, with a wealth of new skills and a deeply embedded desire to be creative for a living. Already aware of the difficulties many artists face when trying to sell their own work, he enrolled in a degree in art and engineering. This was followed by a move to London, where he worked as a concept product designer, creating prototypes for major London advertising agencies. Deprived of natural light for days on end, Tom then turned his skills to creating ambient lights, an art-form he still specialises in today. He held his first exhibition of sculptural lighting at St Martins, and soon afterwards won an Arts Council award for his public installation work in Hackney.
In 2001, craving fresh sea air, Tom moved to the South Coast, where a flourishing art scene provided opportunities for exhibitions, gallery shows and festivals. From there he worked as a freelance artist whilst also providing independent representation to more than 40 professional artists; arranging workspace, marketing opportunities and business assistance. He also worked with young people with behavioural difficulties, providing a therapeutic environment in which they could create (or destroy!).
Thomas now lives in Worthing, where he is a trustee of the Worthing Artists Open Houses, involved with Brighton Open Houses and works alongside Creative Waves Community Arts. His lights are highly sought after by individual collectors, and have found their way to New York, Rome, Bangkok and Auckland to name a few, whilst being featured in exhibitions in Jordan, London and Berlin. All his pieces are unique, taking up to two hundred hours from sketch to build, using materials such as polished wood, acrylic and thermal resins. Tom continues to exhibit across the country.