For several months in 2016 Tom worked on a metre square canvas that was inspired by a Lafrowda Day procession in Cornwall’s most westerly town of St Just-Penwith. Mad Aviators at Lafrowda ((https://www.hendersonsmith.co.uk/product/mad-aviators-lafrowda-2016/ ) translates this spectacle into a riot of colour and shape. An apparent biplane, a ’red arrow’ and other miscellaneous forms of aerial transport process past his old studio in St Just-in-Penwith.
A wise artist-mentor he knew in his late teens once came up with the perceptive comment and prediction that although earth-bound in his approach Tom had a way of ‘sticking at things’ that in his painting would one day lead to things ’taking off’. As Tom built up the layers of paint this long ago insight came repeatedly to mind. Perhaps this is why the Lafrowda image had appealed to Tom so much on the day of the festival.
Like its predecessors that can all be seen at https://www.hendersonsmith.co.uk/exhibitions/ten-years-lafrowda-paintings-exhibition/ this painting was the subject of a benefit auction supporting the future of the extraordinary community celebration, that is Lafrowda Day. Tom was a great supporter of this event, firmly believing that creativity is sparked in the young by these festivals, cultural pilgrims to Cornwall are drawn in and small local businesses briefly flourish. He saw the Lafrowda Festival as a great celebration of creativity in Cornwall and the unique little town that is St Just-in-Penwith!