Teachers

Teachers are key to the atelier learning experience. Each of our staff is a former top student of Tom Bass with a wide range of experience and knowledge of techniques and above all, the ability to encourage and guide students to achieve their goals.

Teachers take all term classes as well as selected Workshops. Other special workshops are given by guest sculptors with established practices in their specialist field.

Wendy Black

Wendy has been a senior teacher at Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School since 2004. Wendy teaches the Wednesday morning workshop classes.

UK-born and a graduate of the Wimbledon School of Art and Exeter Art School, Wendy’s extensive skills and experience have spanned over twenty years within the creative industries. She has worked intensively as a sculptor since 2000.

In 1987, Wendy and her family moved to Australia. She studied life drawing at the Paddington Art School and Ku-ring-gai Art Centre, as well as ceramic sculpture at Ku-ring-gai. She joined the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School as a student in 1998 and worked closely with Tom Bass.

Wendy divides her time between teaching commitments, sculpture commissions, group exhibitions and family. In recent years Wendy has been a finalist in a number of sculpture prizes. In 2015, Wendy won the Belle Property Prize at the Harbour Sculpture Exhibition.

In recent years Wendy has contributed to a number of public commissions including the Australian Cricket Captains’ Walk (Jubilee Park, Cootamundra) and Sir Don Bradman for the Sunbury Art Project, Hume Council, Victoria. She has also completed many commissions for private clients. Wendy recently managed and curated the Art Month exhibition Pieces of Eight at the Exhibition Space and in 2013 ‘Tom Bass and his Studio – A forty year legacy,’ at The Bowen Library, Randwick.

As a collaborator on ongoing projects with the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School, Wendy brings understanding and experience when engaging with the needs of the student, client and community.

Click here to visit Wendy’s website.

Michael Christie

Michael has been a senior teacher at Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School since 2000. For term 3 2016, Michael will be teaching the Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning workshop classes.

Originally trained as an architect (University of Sydney) and graphic designer (National Art School), Michael spent ten years working as a corporate and freelance graphic designer before going into art education. Teaching art for over twenty-five years at the prestigious Saint Ignatius¹ College, Riverview and ten years at Chatswood College, Michael received his Masters in Art Education (Hon) in 1997. In the same year he commenced study under Tom Bass.

Michael has worked professionally as a sculptor since 1998 exhibiting annually and completing several important community commissions for St Leonard¹s Church, Sydney (Lectionary), Saint Ignatius¹ College (The Altar), and the Rainbow Serpent for Erskineville Public School Sydney (in collaboration with the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio). Most recent commissions include the Australian Cricket Captains Walk (Jubilee Park, Cootamundra) and Madonna and Child for the Matthew Talbot Hostel in association with St Vincent de Paul Society.

Christine Crimmins

Christine has been teaching at Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School since 2012. Christine teaches the Tuesday evening and Wednesday evening workshop classes.

During a career in the law, Christine was increasingly drawn to the world of painting and drawing. She experienced 3 months in Siena, Italy, studying painting and language and returned to Sydney to commence studies at the Julian Ashton Art School. Christine explored other avenues such as printmaking and finally found herself under the tutelage of Tom Bass. She continued to study with Tom from the life model and in Tom’s master class until shortly before Tom’s death in 2010.

Christine’s painting work has been exhibited in the Monad Gallery in Sydney, in the Portia Geech Memorial Award for Women’s Portraiture (3 times finalist), Newcastle Art Prize, Mosman Art Prize and the North Shore Art Prize.

In recent years, Christine has completed numerous sculpture commissions. She sculpted Warwick Armstrong and Michael Clarke for the Australian Cricket Captains Walk (Jubilee Park, Cootamundra) and also designed and modelled bronze busts for a family of 4 siblings. She designed ‘An Australian St Francis’ for a convent garden and several of Christine’s abstract outdoor sculptures are installed in a Southern Highlands private garden setting.

Christine has contributed to the curation of several exhibitions at the TBSSS Exhibition Space as well as organised the Annual Studio Open Day for a number of years.

Christine feels particularly indebted to Tom Bass for passing on his respect for sculptural tradition and the knowledge and understanding this brings, allowing for the impact of change over time in the human condition. Christine is interested in exploring basic, familiar forms from an ‘abstract’ viewpoint in her sculptures.

Dan Dominguez

Dan commenced teaching at Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School in 2016. Dan teaches special workshops and some term workshop classes.

Dan attended Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School from 1994-1998 and was mentored by Tom Bass. During this time, the most fundamental thing he learnt was how to express himself through the language of sculpture.

Tom introduced him to a language that went across cultures and stretched back to prehistoric times. From the well-worn river pebble, the African mask, the Greek Cycladic figure, the Gothic figures of Chartes to the life study, Tom taught sculpture in its most comprehensive yet definitive sense.

After a few years Dan began to assist Tom on his commissioned work – the true atelier method, working with the master. At the same time he had the privilege of completing his own commissions with Tom as his “assistant”. Tom’s advice was invaluable, teaching Dan not only how to manage a life size sculpture, but also how to manage clients.

Since then Dan has followed in Tom’s footsteps, completing commissioned work across Australia. Most recently, he has found a niche as a portrait sculptor. Dan is also currently represented by Maunsell Wickes Gallery in Paddington.

Over the last ten years Dan has also worked as a secondary school Visual Arts teacher. Surviving this has introduced Dan to the indispensable art of teaching; the form by which the art of sculpting is to be shared.  He also spent a couple of years as the principal teacher at Mick Pfahl’s Catavento Sculpture school in Bowral.

Tom was Dan’s great mentor. He introduced him to sculpture as a spiritual process, designed to elevate the soul to a higher level. As one of his sculptural “offspring”, Dan joins a line of sculptors that goes back hundreds of years. Having said that, Dan feels he wouldn’t be a part of that line if he wasn’t bringing something different to the table. As Tom himself once said, “creativity cannot occur without change; no copying!”

Click here to visit Dan’s website here.

Bernice Lowe

Bernice Lowe has been a senior teacher at Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School since 2005. Bernice teaches the Life Study as well as the Thursday evening workshop class.

Bernice’s artistic practice spans over twenty years with study undertaken at the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School, Julian Ashton Art School, Sydney Community College and the Red Cedar Workshops.

In 1989 Bernice discovered Tom Bass and his ‘atelier’ Sculpture School in Broadway. The meeting was a pivotal moment igniting Bernice’s passion for sculpture. Bernice now divides her time between sculpture and a busy acupuncture clinic.

Over recent years, Bernice has exhibited in many group exhibitions and also contributed to the Australian Cricket Captains Walk (Jubilee Park, Cootamundra) public commission.

Bernice has a deep appreciation of classical sculpture; it is from this discipline that Bernice finds inspiration for more abstract and contemporary sculptures. Rhythm, gesture and movement are dynamics expressed in Bernice’s sculptural works. Her work explores the sublime and haptic world of form and harmony, her sculptures invite the eyes and the senses in from the mundane, to stop, linger a while and to just enjoy.

Ingrid Morley

Ingrid Morley has been a special guest teacher for a number of years at TBSSS. In 2016, Ingrid will be teaching the new Life Study Workshop – Bring the Body to Life. 

Ingrid, was a student at the TBSSS for close to three years towards the end of the 80’s, this atelier style training  in the  “Life Class” then formed her early philosophy as an artist – “ to develop an endless library of possibilitieswhere poetry and engineering  meet in a timeless dialogue”.

Ingrid has featured in the well-known Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi Exhibitions for many years and has been awarded grants for her work with sculpture in Beijing, China and Paris, France. Ingrid’s plasma cut ‘Lacie Lorrie’ won the award for ‘Art in the Built Environment’, at the Powerhouse Museum’s International Lace Exhibition, this work was the beginning of a relationship with the landscape in the Central Tablelands  of NSW.

More recently Ingrid won a major award for sculpture in Forbes, NSW, re-engaging the public with the burnt out site of the old Forbes Hotel. In 2015 Ingrid won Major Awards for Sculpture both in NSW, and in Queensland with work that comes from a combination of a traditional art making practice, poetry and unusual materials. Ingrid was Artist in Residence in Hill End in July 2015, as part of the Bathurst Regional Gallery’s Artist in Residence Program.

Ingrid currently lives and works near Bathurst in Central Tablelands of NSW and is represented by Defiance Gallery, Sydney.

Karen Alexander

Karen began sculpture at the original Broadway Studio with Tom Bass, which provided a rich learning environment and where she was drawn to the wonderful shapes and forms of the life figure. Whilst looking after and bringing up her young family, Karen attended many workshops and Life Studies with Tom Bass at Broadway and then from 2003 at the Erskineville Studio, where she began exploring public sculpture.

During this immersive sculpture period for Karen, a number of commissions were produced. These commissions included, working as one of a group of sculptors led by Tom Bass, to create a public sculpture ‘The Rainbow Serpent’ for Erskineville Public School.   Following this was another group commission with Cootamundra Council, Australian Cricket Captains Walk (Jubilee Park, Cootamundra). Karen completed two busts of Australian Test Cricket Captains – Jack Blackham and Bill Brown.  These busts were sculpted using historical references and researching reference materials to capture their period features.

In 2011, Karen completed a commission for Holy Cross College Ryde, a small Celtic Cross, which was cast, multiplied and then displayed in each of the school’s new class rooms.  In 2015 Karen was then commissioned to scale the Celtic Cross to 1.4 m for the new Learning Centre at Holy Cross College Ryde.

Karen was accepted in the 2012 TBSSS Emerging Sculptor Program.  This was an intensive and immersive year of studio work, mentoring and producing work for an end of year group exhibition.

Karen continues to make sculpture from her home studio and also teaches workshops at TBSSS including; Sculpture In a Day, Soapstone Carving Workshops and assists in the Wednesday AM workshop.

BeomJin (BJ) Kim

BJ commenced as an assistant and casual teacher at the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School in 2016.

In 2005, BJ left studies in architecture at the University of Sydney when he discovered Tom and the magic of the School, being particularly drawn to the tactile and emotional aspects of sculpture.  He has been studying and making sculpture under Tom (2005-2009) and his fellow teachers since that time.  In 2012, BJ participated in the School’s Emerging Sculptors Program and in 2016, he completed a Masters of Studio Art at the University of Sydney, a course focused on contemporary art practice.

BJ has completed a number of commissions, including a bust of Herbie Collins for the Australian Cricket Captains Walk (Jubilee Park, Cootamundra) and “flying horse” a kinetic work for the Meringo Stud Farm.  BJ’s work “do Geese see God?” was a finalist and highly commended in the 2009 Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize.

Whilst maintaining a love of the life study and the classical tradition, BJ enjoys working across genres and media.  In his recent works, he has been exploring sculpture that plays with the nature of energy.