Jeff Thomson has worked predominantly with corrugated iron since he became a full-time sculptor in 1986. During this time he has used this common building material in a myriad of ways that have continually surprised and astounded the viewer. He cuts it into strips and weaves it, screen prints onto its surface, stacks it, knits it, turns it into lace, and uses it to make moulds from which he casts plastic, pours concrete and bakes bread. One of his most well-known public works would be the corrugated iron clad HQ Holden Station Wagon (1991), which he drove for three years on the roads in New Zealand and Australia. Often working on a large scale and outdoors, his sculptures explore the landscape they inhabit with a playful spontaneity.
Thomson has exhibited predominantly throughout Australasia, Germany and France. In 2013, the Tauranga Art Gallery instigated and toured nationally a retrospective of Thomson’s work. This touring exhibition “Corrugations” the Art of Jeff Thomson, won one of the categories at the 2014 New Zealand Museums Awards.
In 2000, he formed a roofing company whilst undertaking the Tylee Cottage Artist in Residence in Wanganui. During the 12-month residency, he transformed close to 20 rooftops, replacing existing rooves, guttering, downpipes and ridging with his new screen-printed roofing range products. He also re nailed rooftops with his own individually made lead head nails.
Between 1999 and 2002, he had a touring exhibition that travelled to five public Art Galleries and Museums in Germany. In 2003 he was commissioned to build and install a sculpture in Berlin, a gift from the people of New Zealand to the people of Berlin.
Several of his sculptures are included in the sculpture collection at the Alan Gibbs Farm.
Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa
Berlin Zoological Garten, Berlin, Germany
James Fairfax Ltd, Sydney, Australia
Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch
MTG, Napier Hawks Bay
Hocken Library Collection, Dunedin
Sargeant Art Gallery, Wanganui
Auckland City – ‘Words’, Birkenhead, library, ‘Toilets’, Helensville,
‘Moments’ Highway 16 and 18 noise walls,
‘Flora’ Whangaparaoa Library