Repton’s Artist in Residence Tom Voyce specialises in semi-abstract landscapes. In 2017 he won Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year which catapulted him and his work into the spotlight; his commission of Noel Coward’s Jamaican home Firefly remains on permanent display at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Here, Tom shares with us why he jumped at the chance of becoming Artist in Residence at Repton, how the pupils have inspired him both in the studio and in his role as House Tutor and his plans for the 2021/22 academic year.  

I became aware of the opportunity to join the team at Repton as Artist in Residence when I was invited to exhibit in one of the School’s galleries. The facilities are extraordinary so having enjoyed several residencies abroad this was too good a chance to miss!  

My main body of work over the last year has focused on exploration of place – the ‘In Transit’ series, drawing on my travels. Being in the studio so much has also given me the opportunity to experiment with more conceptual, abstract drawings using pasted paper, wood and card, which has returned some exciting results.  

Trial and error often unleashes happy mistakes and that for me is one of the most compelling aspects of being an artist. Leading workshops with pupils has given me the opportunity to explore new artistic territories; when I encourage pupils to be brave it means I have to lead from the front! Over the last year I’ve taken more risks with my work, developed new techniques and worked with materials that I hadn’t explored before. Where previously I might have been cautious or daunted I have had a much more unbounded outlook; being surrounded by ambitious and talented pupils, both in School House and in the studio, has influenced my work in a way I hadn’t anticipated.  

September will see me extend my role to work with pupils at the Prep School as well as those at the Senior School. I’ve already had a sneak preview of their work so I know that there are many hungry young artists who will be a real joy to work with. Much like my work with older pupils, I will be hosting masterclasses as well as introducing exciting new techniques so I really can’t wait to see what the results are!