Ah, choice! What to say about myself here?
Well, it should come as no surprise that on these pages you can view, purchase and/or commission work by me, Tom Knutson (Ka-noot-sun, as people so often pronounce it Nutson, perhaps also unsurprisingly, so I might aswell set it straight from the start!) This is also an attempt (at time of writing, March 2016) to be more proactive in the promotion of my art that I’ve not done enough of in the past.
I first got into art drawing monsters, criminals and draculas as a child. Having glue ear as a child, that was cleared up entirely by grommets, I am now of the belief that one of the effects of my hearing difficulties was that the visual became more important to me.
I was keen on art throughout school, took A-level and an Art Foundation year where I specialised in Visual Communication especially interested in the use of words and images together as is the case in much of advertising. I studied Vis Comm at Leeds College of Art and Design and had dreams of becoming a copywriter in a creative team. Through my studies and a couple of work experiences, I became disillusioned with the world and philosophies of advertising and was very interested in the benefit of art therapy, finding solace in my own creations such as noting down short arrangements of words.
It was 2001 when I cut my first stencil of words but 2003 when my wordsmith activity really became a passion and I’ve been doing it ever since. Current count: Approx. 1130! Initially they were to be spray painted onto walls and screen printed onto t-shirts but then I also started spraying them onto canvases with some affects I found pleasing, some legible words, some illegible, lots of colour and shape. I like the unsprayed stencil as well.
It was also in 2003, about half way through my third year of art college, that I got sectioned for the first time. Thankfully the hospital was new and therefore clean and not very busy and I was only in the hospital for 4 days on the condition that my parents would take care of me back in London. I was devastated to learn that I wouldn’t be able to finish my degree with the people I’d started with but was absolutely determined to go back up and finish it as soon as it could be granted.
I was put on medication and in the autumn of 2003 was given a diagnosis of Paranoid Schizophrenia. (Another psychiatrist thought I might have had a schizo-affective episode.) This was a bolt from the blue and I didn’t recognise the doctors’ diagnosis as correct. I am of the opinion that medication and being sectioned are damaging to a person’s health and sense of self. Others may feel their medication is successful but I hold this opinion strongly.
I came off medication in time to return to Leeds to finish my degree in the autumn of 2004 and completed in the summer of 2005.
Unfortunately, 10 years on from my first section I was sectioned again in 2013 where my diagnosis was changed to chronic paranoia and depression and in part this lead to being sectioned again at the beginning of 2015 where I got a diagnosis of possible bi-polar. I went voluntarily into hospital in April 2015 due to depression and found the self referral empowering. And I’m doing a lot better now.
In 2013, after recovering somewhat from the effects on my self of being sectioned for the second time, again, in my view, unnecessarily, I took a letter-carving in stone course at City Lit. And it is thanks to the tutor there, Geoffrey Aldred, that I’ve been able to continue my interest in this medium, traveling down to Sussex for Sunday workshops throughout the years. I’ve taken a number of other courses at City Lit including Stone carving with Belinda Edwards.
Big thanks to everyone who has supported me thoughout my life.
Specially big thanks to Laurence Lord for helping me get this website off the ground.
My favourite colour has always been purple.
I hope you enjoy my work.
Ps. I have been angered greatly by certain aspects of life/my life. This is occasionally reflected in my work but I hope it does not cause distress or offence to anyone.
Pps. Leading up to and at the beginning of 2003, I put together and started thinking about what I call my philosophy. Which is that we are all and everything is six concepts. Those concepts are themselves and each other. They are: DEVIL, DEATH, TIME, FATE, GOD, LIFE. I’m of the opinion that if you have the understanding to know this to be true it can change an awful lot of what the world perceives to be true. I’m not special in putting this together as others helped me a lot to get there, there is evidence all around and I believe it’s highly likely others have come up with it before me. Devil is Something; Death is Anything; Time is Nothing; and Fate is Everything. My humorous anagram of sorts for S.A.N.E! But, remember, they are all each other! And you ask: What about God and Life? Well, Devil and God go together as a pair as do Death and Life. Devil and God could be described as religion, or influence, or a complicated maze of Yes and No or No and Yes. But sometimes it’s simple. Likewise, Death and Life could be described as history; Time: choice; and Fate: chance. But, remember, they are all each other as well…
Thanks for reading!