Thomas Watkiss is a multi-disciplinary artist perhaps most known for his sound recordings and performances. The recordings are paired with his photography and prints -- giving the listener an intimate visual setting to the roaming ambient soundscapes. Thomas released six full length records, starting with Ancestor - Phase I : Silence 2LP (2008) and several short-run titles until Whote - Moons (2015). He directed the video for the title track which was shot throughout the city and along Jacob Riis National Park where each frame represents a tracks on the record. He is currently working on a new collaborative recording project referred to as Landless with cellist El Slizard, contra-bassist Henrik Andersson and modular synthesist Mathias Josefson. The first track, Closure was recorded and engineered by Martin Bisi at BC Studios in Gowanus, Brooklyn. The bulk of the recording took place in Stockholm where he was a resident to the ElektronMusikStudion (EMS) program in the summer of 2019.
Thomas works with nature in both photography and field recording. He re-creates the moments captured in his sound works and paintings where moments in ecologies as captured in photographs from places including the Atlantic coast, unwritten corridors of the American continent or deep in Scandinavian solitude. Prior to working with sound, Thomas began his art career with painting and participated in group shows at places such as Garfield Artworks (Pittsburgh), Gallery XIV (Boston) and Stiftelsen 3,14 (Bergen, Norway). He has recently returned to the medium with his first solo exhibition at Black Diamond Gallery in New York City, titled Ecosystems. Eleven paintings were paired with soundscapes that address bio-diversity accessible via QR code upon physical engagement. Symbols from his photography such as butterflies and birds against obscured backdrops of mountains and maligned growth originate from his image taking and serve to recreate the experience he envisions to produce through his sound recordings. The skulls and cold color palette refer to his origins of involvement with the international DIY punk and metal scenes as a bass player.
He completed residencies at ElektronMusikStudion (EMS) in Stockholm (2019), Listhus, Olafsfjordur Iceland (2016), USF Verftet, Bergen Norway (2008) and Konstepidemin, Gothenburg Sweden (2003). He has performed at spaces including Spectrum (Brooklyn), Magazin4 (Brussels), Fylkingen (Stockholm), Landmark (Bergen), Sound of Mu (Oslo), UT Connewitz (Leipzig), Spazio 210 (Torino), Rhiz (Vienna), Theater Kapellen (Berlin), Svensk Form and Crum Heaven Gallery (Stockholm). He holds an MA from Konstfack University of Art and Design (Stockholm) and a dual BA from the University of Pittsburgh.
He lives and works in New York City.