Thursday 3 November 2011

Interview: Thomas Llewellyn

Last year’s winner of the Craft Victoria Fresh! Award was RMIT Industrial Design student ThomasLlewellynCraft Victoria recently caught up with Thomas and asked him a few questions about his career, post-Fresh! We started by asking him what winning the Fresh! prize meant, and how has it helped his practice? 

Thomas Llewellyn: Winning this award made me feel like others were excited by the story I was telling. To participate in Fresh!, with the other exhibiters also making objects to tell stories and generate and inspire new thoughts was such a great experience and has inspired me to keep making.

Craft Victoria: What have you been up to in 2011? Any great experiences/career highlights?

TL: This year for me has been a time of observation. I have been taking time to listen and observe other artists, craftspeople and designers. I feel comfortable still not really knowing where I sit within these three disciplines as I appreciate all of them and what they mean to me.

In april I went up to Sydney with the Drawing Board (Thomas' winning work, pictured) for an exhibition at Object Gallery as part of Australian Design Now. This was another inspiring group show filled with a great buzz.

Back home in Melbourne I have been enjoying watching my garden grow (my housemate is a very dedicated gardener, I mostly just sit and enjoy the sights and smells). I have been working on my website which hopefully will be up soon and also working on some projects for another show at Object Gallery next year.


CV: What are your plans for 2012?

TL: I would like to travel overseas again, possibly undertake an internship with a well oiled design studio. I would also like have a big messy studio in Melbourne, so long as I know where a select few things are, it is allowed to remain mostly chaotic. These are the same rules that apply to my bedroom.

CV: What advice do you have for graduating students?

TL: I had some great advice given to me from an old work colleague which I can try to translate. She had an artwork in a exhibition last year showing a figure lying facing upwards towards a light and a plaster mould of a face, it was called 1996 and it the cast was her face from when she was 16. She said to me "Thomas, 15 years have passed and I am still here, the same girl, sitting drinking a cup of tea, a few different roles in a few different places." 

She told me that there are always so many directions you can take in life but don't spend too much time contemplating the moves you are making. Make plans, be present, appreciate and get the most out of whatever you are doing at the time and never lose the desire to learn new things.


Fresh! is Craft Victoria’s annual exhibition of graduate work. Twenty industry professionals will visit over 35 graduate exhibitions across Victoria and select the best work for Fresh! Works are selected collectively from the fields of ceramics, glass, jewellery, gold & silver-smithing, fashion, textiles, industrial and furniture design and visual arts. Professional development opportunities are offered as awards in partnership with industry supporters. This year we are excited to announce a new award for Fresh! The Future Leaders Excellence Award will join existing awards supported by Craft Victoria, TAIT, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, Studio Round, Screaming Pixel, green magazine and Artichoke.

Fresh! 2011 opens 1 December 2011. The exhibition runs form 2 - 24 December 2011.

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