Tom Baskeyfield

Place / Ecology / Matter / Spirit

Tom Baskeyfield

Darkness holds its special power and its special attraction. God likes a no-place, a no-where, and the soul wants to commune with God there.

Matthew Fox

The Tao is through and through mysterious and dark.

There is one thing: above, it supports Heaven; below, it upholds Earth. It is black like lacquer, always actively functioning.

Alan Watts (and unknown Zen practitioner)

In the quietness of night, I look out into the vast darkness of the universe with awe. In the spaces between the drystones of a wall, I am drawn with similar wonder. And in these stones and the rock faces of cliffs and quarried galleries I am brought to a standstill with reverence. It is in these brief statements that I have found the core of my practice over recent years.

We live in dark times; but without darkness we would not know light. My work is a meditation on this, I have come to realise. Through the use of stone, clay, and wood; graphite, gold leaf, black earth pigment and black printmakers paper, I have sought to create images and objects that contrast light and dark, luminosity and absorption, body and void.

These works are contemplation on our relationship to Earth, through its crust, stone. They are also a quiet, gentle nod, eyes slowing closing, to the absolute.

Initially place and industry centred, my practice has expanded into philosophical enquiries - ecological and consciousness focussed - and aspects of quantum physics, and spirituality. Through the works I am thinking about the wonders of the universe expressed in such forms as a gritstone scalping, a shard of slate, or a breath of gold leaf, and sit with these in the openness of questions around the ‘always actively functioning’ mysterious dark.

Over the past few years, Tom has been working with photographer Mario Popham on 'Shaped by Stone'. Initially commissioned for the Barnaby Festival in Macclesfield, 'Shaped by Stone: Strata to Streets' has gone on to be exhibited at GroundWork Gallery, King's Lynn and PAPER Gallery, Manchester. They have also presented and discussed the project at conferences in Plymouth, Dartington, and Sheffield. In 2017, with backing from HOME Manchester, they were awarded funding by Arts Council England to pursue the second leg of the project: 'OF Flesh and Stone'.

In Strata to Streets they looked closely at a hillside quarry (now a country park) - Tegg's Nose - and it's relationship to Macclesfield Town Centre. They sought to draw attention to the pink gritstone jutting out of the earth up on the hill and the journey it took to lie as flagstones, setts and facing stones in the town.

For Flesh and Stone they shifted their gaze from the local to the national, and international. From the hills and rooftops of Macclesfield they looked across the Cheshire Plains to the mountains of North Wales. Here they focussed on slate and its relationship to the industrial north of England. This leg of the project was exhibited at HOME, Mcr, in 2018.

In 2020 they launched the book Of Flesh and Stone. A beautiful companion to the project, laid out echoing the installation of the work at HOME, Mcr, with insightful and emotive essays by writer Sara Jaspan and geologist Ruth Siddall of UCL. To coincide with this launch, STONE WORDS was also published. The first full publication of Tom Baskeyfield's writing, STONE WORDS is a collection of essays, poems, word pieces and photographs made about and in the company of stone. Five years in the making, it chronicles a personal journey with stone and evokes further vistas in the Shaped by Stone project.



. Death of Stories / Examples of Life Shatwell Farm, Somerset (November)
. Towards a Love of Matter for Somerset Arts Week, Vallis Farm, Frome (Septmber – October)
. Darkly Brightly Lydord, Somerset (September)

Extraction Art Online

. In Steps of Sundew Fermynwoods Contemporary Arts, The Arches, Fineshade Wood, Nr Corby, Northants (To open April 10th)

. The Wales Contemporary Waterfront Gallery, Pembrokeshire; Mall Galleries, London (October – November)
. To The Fore Silk Mill Studios, Frome (April)

. Black Swan Open Black Swan, Frome (October)
. Techne (group show) Neo Arts, Bolton (August)
. Of Flesh and Stone HOME, Manchester (March – April)

. For Space (group show) Paper, Manchester (May – June)
. On the Stony Path (w/ herman de vries & Sibylle Eimermacher) GroundWork Gallery, King’s Lynn, Norfolk (March – July)

. Northern Light SIA Gallery, Sheffield Hallam University (Showing elements of Shaped by Stone) (July)
. Shaped by Stone (Commissioned by The Barnaby Festival) duel venue in Macclesfield Town Centre and Tegg’s Nose Country Park (June)

Monoliths of the Field Commissioned by Sale Waterside Arts centre (August – September)

. Soil Culture Forum Falmouth University (July)
. bir! bir! The Art Yard, Macclesfield (June – July)
. The Walking Encyclopedia Air Space Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent (February – March)

Android 4 Piccadilly Place, Manchester (June)

. Cultivation Field Various venues in Reading (June)
. Barnaby Festival Macclesfield (June)

. Square Eyes 3 - Da2011 The Exchange, Penzance, Cornwall (October)
. Sensing Earth: Art and Environment (MA show spilt over two venues)
. University College Falmouth, Cornwall (September)
. Kestle Barton, Cornwall (September)
. MA interim show CCANW, Haldon Forest Park, Exeter, Devon.

Local Perspectives Barnaby Festival, Macclesfield (June)

. IV Rogue Studios Project Space, Manchester (October)
. Unique Perspectives Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk (September-October)
. Baskeyfield & Machell Red Gallery, Hull. (August-September)
. A New View Dukes Court Artists Studios, Macclesfield (March)

. Art Transpennine 08 various locations in and around Manchester

. Event 7: Phase 1 Islington Mill, Salford
(working in collaboration as, wessandbaskeyfield)

Curated Exhibitions (As Artist and Curator)

2018: Of Flesh and Stone (Curated w/Mario Popham. HOME Mcr)
2016: Shaped by Stone (Curated w/Mario Popham. Commissioned by The Barnaby Festival) duel venue in Macclesfield Town and Tegg’s Nose Country Park (June)
2015: Monoliths of the Field Commissioned by Sale Waterside Arts Centre (August – September)
2014: bir! bir! The Art Yard, Macclesfield (June – July)

Grants, Commissions, Awards

Best 3D work, Black Swan Open

2017 - 2018:
Grants for the Arts funding awarded by Arts Council England for Of Flesh and Stone working in collaboration with photographer Mario Popham.

2015 - 2016:
Funded commission awarded by The Barnaby Festival, Macclesfield for Shaped by Stone working in collaboration with photographer Mario Popham.
The project was brought to fruition during the festival in 2016 (June)

Conferences & Presentations

'Death of Stories / Examples of Life' presented at Shatwell Farm, Somerset to celebrate the launch of the book 'Borrowed Time'. (November)

'Death of Stories / Examples of Life' presented as part of Borrowed Time, a conference on death, dying and change organised by Art dot Earth, in conjunction with The Dark Mountain Project. Three day conference (October - November)

Presentation of Of Flesh and Stone for the book launch of the project of the same title, HOME, Manchester w/ Mario Popham (February)

. Presentation of Shaped by Stone for New Networks for Nature: Nature Matters (November)
. Presentation of Of Flesh and Stone at HOME, Manchester w/ Mario Popham (April)
. Artist of the month for ( (January)

. Presentation of Of Flesh and Stone at CMIT: Cross, Multi, Inter, Trans (Land2 and ASLE biannual conference) w/ Mario Popham Sheffield Hallam (September)
. Presentation of Shaped by Stone w/ Mario Popham
at GroundWork Gallery, King’s Lynn, Norfolk (March)
. Presentation of Shaped by Stone w/ Mario Popham HOME, Manchester (January)

. Presentation of Shaped by Stone at Northern Light (part of supporting exhibition) Sheffield Hallam (July)
. Presentation of Shaped by Stone at Language, Landscape and The Sublime ( inaugural conference) Schumacher College, Devon (June)
. Presentation of Shaped by Stone at Traffic: movement / place / flow / mobility (Land2 and Land/Water conference) Plymouth University and College of Art (April)


Drawing In: The Ash Tree w/Lotte Scott Drawing workshop responding to a local ash tree. Commissioned by The Barnaby Festival, Macclesfield

Shaped by Stone (Excavating place) Walking workshop held over two consecutive weekends exploring the relationship between Tegg’s Nose Quarry and Macclesfield Town Centre. (Commissioned by The Barnaby Festival.) (June)

Publications & Press

. Stone Words Book of writing – poetry, prose, word pieces – published alongside Of Flesh and Stone
. Of Flesh and Stone Book for the project of the same title

Northern Lights Sheffield Hallam

Dark Mountain Book 14 ‘Terra’ Shaped by Stone (Essay and images)

Shaped by Stone published by HOME, Mcr

Dark Mountain Book 3 Of Time in a Field (photo essay)

Peninsula Issue 2: Borders Topographical Dissection No.6 Clutag Press 2011

Chapel Gallery: Unique Perspectives write up by Ian Jackson. Art in September 17th


CCANW Haldon Forest Park, Exeter, Devon. This was a week-long residency in which I stayed at CCANW and created work in response to its location in Haldon Forest Park. (March-April)

Rogue Studios Project Space Manchester (August-October)


MA Art and Environment at Falmouth University
09/2010 – 09/2011 Falmouth, UK
PGCE Further, Higher and Adult Education at Bolton University
09/2006 – 06/2007 Bolton, UK
BA Fine Art (hons) at Manchester Metropolitan University
09/2001 – 06/2004 Manchester, UK


2017 – 2020
Grants for the Arts, Arts Council England