We’d love to give a very warm welcome to our new Thursday morning and afternoon teacher Dan Dominguez who will be joining TBSSS starting in January 2016. Below he recounts learning from Tom and his time at the school:
Dan Dominguez: An Association with the Tom Bass Sculpture School
Over the five years I attended the Tom Bass Sculpture School (1994-1998), the most fundamental thing I learnt was how to express myself through the language of sculpture.
Tom introduced me 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 I began to assist Tom on his commissioned work- the true atelier method, working with the master. At the same time I had the privilege of completing my own commissions with Tom as my “assistant”. Tom’s advice was invaluable, teaching me not only how to manage a life size sculpture, but also how to manage clients.
Since then I have followed in Tom’s footsteps, completing commissioned work across Australia. Recently, I have found a niche as a portrait sculptor. I am also currently represented by Maunsell Wickes in Paddington.
Over the last ten years I have also worked as a secondary school Visual Arts teacher. Surviving this has introduced me to the indispensable art of teaching; the form by which the art of sculpting is to be shared. I also spent a couple of years as the principal teacher at Mick Pfahl’s Catavento Sculpture school in Bowral.
Tom was my great mentor. He introduced me to sculpture as a spiritual process, designed to elevate the soul to a higher level. As one of his sculptural “offspring”, I join a line of sculptors that goes back hundreds of years. Having said that, I wouldn’t be a part of that line if I wasn’t bringing something different to the table. As Tom himself once said, creativity cannot occur without change; no copying!
It is a great privilege and honour to be asked to teach at the school. I look forward to not only the sculptures but the sculptors I might work with in the future.