Village People - Thomas Allen

By Claire Cooper

A Lindfield artist, whose Contemporary Cave Paintings enthralled hundreds of visitors to a Brighton exhibition earlier this year, has reached another milestone in his career.

Thomas Allen, is one of an elite group of just 64 artists from all over Europe to have a piece shortlisted for the prestigious Threadneedle Prize. “I’m absolutely over the moon to have a piece selected from thousands of submissions from across Europe!” said Thomas.

His selection comes at just the right time for Thomas, who currently has a painting, Transporting Touch, on show in the Year of the Horse exhibition at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London. He will revisit the gallery early next year to undertake his second Contemporary Cave Painting project.

Thomas describes how he has developed his unique style, taking inspiration from prehistoric cave paintings, and how he gives himself over to the life of the image, never knowing quite what will emerge when he starts a painting…

“I’ve always enjoyed drawing,” said Thomas, 24, who lives in The Glebe. “When I was a child, all my parents needed to do was give me a pencil and a piece of paper if they ever wanted me out of their hair for a few hours!” Encouraged by family, Thomas continued to draw and paint throughout his school years. On leaving Haywards Heath College, Thomas would have liked to follow his heart and concentrate on drawing and painting, but decided to take the perhaps more practical route, studying Economics and Sociology at Exeter University. Rather ironically, the Sociological theory Thomas was taught came to play a key role in the development of his unique style.

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