Watch a short documentary about Tom Carment made by the Art Gallery of NSW for the Dobell Drawing Biennial here

Watch a short film of Tom Carment painting by Julia Allsop here

Self-portrait, pencil, 2008

Tom Carment was born in Sydney in 1954 and studied at Julian Ashton's Art School in 1973. Tom has been painting landscapes and portraits ever since. He is also a writer whose stories and essays have been published nationally.

During the 1980's he lived overseas for four years, in Africa (Zimbabwe and Zambia) and in France. Tom returned to Sydney in 1988 where he lives with his partner and their three children.

We can see in Tom's work a reportage on his life, the external lived environment through his landscapes and the internal environment and friendships through his portraits. His body of work explores these themes through his choice of medium and sensitive interpretation of light. His pictures are painted and drawn from life.

Tom Carment's work has been shown since 1974 in twenty-five solo and numerous group exhibitions, mainly in Sydney. His work is held in public and private art collections in Australia and overseas including the Art Gallery of N.S.W., the State Library of N.S.W., and the City of Melbourne Art & Heritage Collection.

Tom was the winner of the 2014 NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize, the 2008 Gallipoli Art prize, and the 2005 Mosman Art Prize. In 2002 and 2010 he was awarded the Alan Gamble Award (for the best depiction of the built environment) and in 2010, the COFA Art Award. He has been hung in the Archibald Prize ten times, the Wynne Prize six times and the Sulman Prize and Dobell Drawing Prize three times. Tom is a three times winner of the Waverley Art Prize. In 2014-15 Tom was one of ten artists selected for the Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial at the Art Gallery of NSW, showing a suite of 120 small watercolour/drawings, entitled 'From Cape Leeuwin to Kings Cross'.

His book ‘Days and Nights in Africa’ (written and illustrated by the artist) was published in 1985 (Peter Crayford Public Pictures), and his essays, stories and pictures have appeared in HQ magazine, Heat magazine, the Bulletin and Sydney Morning Herald Good Weekend. His most recent publication is 'Seven Walks, Cape Leeuwin to Bundeena' 244pp., Roc/Hin 2014, reprinted 2015 (essays, watercolours and drawings by Tom Carment, with photographs by Michael Wee).

In 2007 Tom completed a major commission for the City of Melbourne to paint, draw and write about the construction of Council House 2 in Little Collins Street. Council House 2 is the 'greenest' office building in Australia. In 2011 he was an artist-in-residence at Taronga Zoo, Sydney.

Tom, Surfers Paradise, 1961In 2008 the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery at Windsor held a survey of thirty years of Tom's work, entitled 'People, Paddocks, Coastlines'.

In the catalogue for the Macquarie Group Collection, the late Nick Waterlow wrote: 

"Tom Carment's 'Two Mile Paddock, Middleback' and 'Fenceline, Cambalong', both of 1998, are classic examples of his ability to capture with poetic dexterity, and on a conservative scale, the true feeling of a landscape that is quintessentially Australian. There is an understanding in his work of being at one with the scene depicted, something that Fred Williams, through plein air experience, helped pioneer."

 Tom is also a most sensitive writer, and, as art critic John McDonald noted, in 1997, "one gains a better appreciation of Carment's pictures from his prose and vice versa." He continued, " ...his technique allows a subject to emerge with great naturalness. He is a communicator rather than a showman; he does not try to dazzle us, but elicits our sympathy and interest in the world he portrays."

 Helen Garner wrote, in 2014: 'Tom Carment's writing, like his art, seduces quietly: austere, highly articulate, always fresh, with a dry sense of the absurd. In this calm, modest register he commands great territories.' 

Tom Carment is represented in Sydney by King Street Gallery on William.

 Tom painting potatoes 2016  photo Felix Idle

Tom on Cape to Cape track WA 2012 photo: Michael Wee

Tom Painting Don Idle 1999