Solo by Jon Thom

'Untitled IV'

‘Untitled IV’

As some on you may remember, I have already posted about Jon on this blog before. However, this Saturday Jon had his second showing at The Artist’s Room for his collection, Solo.

Solo focuses more on facial expressions and individual characters than Jon’s previous collection. Again, the calibre of his work allows you to connect with the individuals in his portraits. The deep velvet textures he creates from using pressed black chalk adds serious depth and feeling to his work, it feels like you have an immediate emotional connection to the portrait you are looking at.

Jon on the right with some fans of his work.

Jon on the right with some fans of his work.

The baleful eyes of his latest work, as they look directly at the viewer, make it feel as if you are having a kind of conversation with the subjects; particularly ‘Daisy’ aptly named after the subject herself, Daisy Lowe.



Solo is on for the next two weeks at the Artist’s Room, and with three pieces already having sold before the opening I’d recommend getting there before the show wraps up. After the show concludes some pieces will remain, but Solo really should be viewed as a collection.

When I was there I think the best way I could describe how it made me feel was the montage scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, where they are going round the Art Galleries (video clip here). A meaningful, if not completely understood connection happens when viewing Solo, I felt like I almost knew the subjects.

LEft to Right - 'Untitled III', 'Laugh' and 'Untitled IV'

LEft to Right – ‘Untitled III’, ‘Laugh’ and ‘Untitled IV’

A specially commissioned piece by Jon is also on display in the building, its a huge wall sized canvas painting, I heard Jon describe how tricky it was to incorporate the blue tint into his process, as the charcoal he draws with would get smudged by the blue paint. Knowing how hard he worked on that piece and the scale of it, it definitely makes you stop and think when you seen it. It’s located on the second floor of 2 Dowling Street, above The Artist’s Room.

'Laughter' 'or 'Smile'. Jon's largest piece of work in size to date

‘Laughter’ ‘or ‘Smile’. Jon’s largest piece of work in size to date

So to summarise, get along to The Artist’s Room to see some wonderfully evocative and velvet textured work from a young man with a real talent.

My Imgur album of the collection can be viewed here. The Artist’s Room facebook page is also here. Jon’s Artist’s page is also here.

3 thoughts on “Solo by Jon Thom

  1. Terrific images and helpful links, Ellie. I don’t think any screen can do justice to the deep velvety blacks in Jon’s drawings. They have to be experienced IRL. I like the expressions that he’s caught, and the inky black space. I was alerted to this exhibition by an instagram posted by dunedinnz a couple of days ago (

  2. I was concerned when I got there my camera wouldn’t capture the depth properly, but I feel it did justice to the original works as well as any other camera would have done in terms of ambience and feel. I saw on Jon’s artist page and the Artist’s Room page I linked to.

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