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Artist and Filmmaker Gary Thomas looks at the relationship between art and film, why it's sometimes uncomfortable, and how he deals with his own 'strands', (including disability), both personally and professionally. He'll also be writing about his own work as well as developing other projects, including films about the Olympics.

Here's my round up of last year

16 January 2014

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Cover Of 'Straight Men & The Men Who Love Them 3' DVD release

End Of Year Round Up. By Gary Thomas So, that was 2013. No seriously, I did a quick check, and that’s the end of it. I was hoping to hear some news, but haven’t heard, so will have to wait a bit longer for that. Whilst there’s a few things I’m struggling to remember, there’s nothing I particularly want to forget, which must be a good sign. The year started with me directing a music video for Rob Lever’s song ‘If This Isn’t Love’, which...

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This world that we live in...

27 September 2013

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Still from Madonna's film with quote 'Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you.'

“Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead.” Adele. As I sit here I'm thinking about the World that we live in. It is 11.12 am and I have just got up having not gone to bed until 4am last night. I wasn’t thinking about anything major last night, I just forgot to take my tablets, and so, naturally, as always happens when I do that, I didn’t sleep much. Once I got to sleep, funnily enough, I slept really well. I watched the Madonna interview about...

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I want what????

3 June 2013

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An ad for Beauty and the freak show in Vegas, with Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz

“Women have to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves.  We have to step up as women and take the lead, and reach as high as humanly possible. That’s what I’m going to do, that’s my philosophy.”
- Beyoncé in her documentary ‘Life is but a dream’. I was really taken by the above quote as I was watching a BBC documentary about Beyoncé. She was talking about her performance on the Billboard chart show in the US, and said...

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My first live one man show.

27 April 2013

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Postcard layout advertising the show Hidden, with a pic of Jonny Collis

HIDDEN Performance. What an amazing, spectacular day it was yesterday. My one man show, starring Jonny Collis, called ‘Hidden’ had its premiere at the first Disability Arts In Surrey Festival to around 20-30 people - not bad for 10am on a Friday morning! Jonny did a fantastic job, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more from his performance. The show was based around my own experience of what I call psychosis after a stop & search by Police in London when I was 26...

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Priorities Shmiorities

7 April 2013

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A laptop by the bed with lots of paper around it, glasses, and a phone.

OK, so having been kind of stressed lately (although I say lately this isn’t unusual) today I tried to do some writing on an outline / treatment I haven’t looked at for a while. And as I was looking at it, I realised I couldn’t get my head round it without re-reading it. It wasn’t that long (about 6 pages so far) so that wasn’t the problem, but it became a problem because I couldn’t even re-read it.  So I thought I’d do a blog that lists my work...

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My three words for 2013

11 January 2013

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Image of a hand writing on a piece of paper with a fountain pen

I’ve never ever done new years resolutions. I think it’s cos I heard all those jokes about all those people joining the gym in January and never going again. From the first time I heard about them I remember thinking it’s not a very good idea. I mean, if you really want to do something why wait? Why not do it now? If I do have something in mind that I want to do, and I can do it whenever, i.e. it doesn’t take money or anything else to do, I’ll make sure I start it...

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End of Year Round Up

27 December 2012

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Gary Thomas in the local Paper

I thought I’d blog about how 2012 has gone for me. It’s sometimes confusing being a creative person, as the ‘personal’ and the ‘professional’ easily gets mixed up. My ideas, which are sometimes personal, become something I want to write about, then make work from. Anyway, this is a run down of what I achieved this year, and there have been a lot of ‘firsts’ for me. In January I ran a 7 week workshop at The Orpheus Centre, teaching filmmaking, and...

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Under What Grounds?

29 November 2012

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Telephone Clipart

I’ve been thinking about a couple of posts I saw recently. Well, one on Facebook and one article in the local paper. Both were about suicide, and the one on Facebook in particular mentioned that the person who knew the man who committed suicide had no idea he felt that way. Which left me thinking about why I, and others like me, don’t talk. I’m not going to go on about any male ego bullshit, I’m trying to come up with helpful answers. Stuff that I’m not 100% sure...

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My life through the Hare. (DADA-South)

4 November 2012

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Ardent Hare Logo

“Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.”  sometime attrributed to Dr. Seuss, and sometimes to Gabriel García Márquez in Spanish: "No llores porque ya se terminó... sonríe, porque sucedió."   I received an email last month from Ardent Hare saying that they were closing. You can read the original release here.  So Ardent Hare, or DADA-South as they were known, is no more. When I linked to the newsletter on my...

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Bionic People - Two day filmmaking workshop

12 August 2012

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Bionic People was the 3rd and final event in the series 'Specimens to Superhumans' run by The Arts Catalyst, with support from Shape and DADAFest and funded by The Wellcome Trust. A 2 day filmmaking workshop was run by John Williams, who's made a number of short films including the award winning ‘Paraphernalia’, about a child’s complex feelings towards his robotic dialysis machine. As a filmmaker myself I was asked to review the event for DAO & take part, and...

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Images & Words

15 April 2012

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A new image of me(?), Gary Thomas

Those of you who’ve known me for a while may know that I’ve done boxing & wrestling for some time. (Although I haven’t done either for a couple of years). You may also know that a few years ago I had a photo-shoot which I wore my ‘Disabled’ T-shirt.  That idea came about because I was so pissed of with having to explain why I had hidden disabilities and what they were, that I decided to start blatantly telling people.  It was really me saying,...

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State of the Arts 2012 Conference Sessions (Blog 2)

29 February 2012

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Probably the most interesting session for me was the first session about the audience. It certainly presented a different way of thinking. The main speakers were Alastair Spalding from Sadlers Wells and Helen Marriage from Artichoke, who produced the Sultan’s Elephant outdoor spectacle as well as The ‘Spider’ in Liverpool in 2008. Alastair was interesting in that he started by talking about the iPhone, saying that no one could really imagine 10 years ago that there would be a...

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State of The Arts Conference, 14th Feb 2012 (Blog1)

16 February 2012

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I was selected as one of 50 bursary winners to attend the State of The Arts Conference in Manchester, on 14th February. You can read the twitter stream by looking up the hashtag #SOTA12 and podcasts will be available soon. OK. Lets start with the really obvious thing, that shouldn’t have been obvious at all. Throughout the conference, even on the film, there were no subtitles, and no BSL Interpreters. What were ACE thinking? Has it been like this for the past three years? This was my...

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My 2011

2 January 2012

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Screen image of iCal Calendar for April 2011

  Happy New Year! I thought I’d start this year by recapping last year. Why do I think last year was so good when I had a family bereavement in January & I was assaulted by 2 'youths' in August? I think, at least for the past year, I've been feeling pretty well, and simply didn't want to let things get in the way of what I was doing -  possibly because I had such a terrible 2010. The other reasons are work & funding.  I've done more this year than I ever have,...

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Stephen Merchant Live at Hammersmith Apollo (Review)

1 December 2011

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For those of you who've been offended by someone recently who I'll just simply refuse to name, his comedy writing partner, Stephen Merchant, seems to be a bit different. A friend had tickets to see Stephen Merchant at Hammersmith Apollo, London, and I went, with slight trepidation. Was he going to be as offensive as Ricky Gervais? (Damn, OK, I had to mention him) Was I going to sit there & cringe most of the way through? Was I?  Well, no, as it turned out, I didn't at all. Stephen...

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The Dog & The Palace, Phase 2

24 November 2011

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A young actor playing with a dog and a dog statue

Hooray! Let me say that again. Hooray!! The Dog & The Palace, my split screen film installation inspired by a dream I had way back in 2009 (complete with original alternate ending) has received a second lot of arts council funding so it can be completed. This means that come January, it’ll be full on finding locations, finding a Queen look a like, and finding a handful of Paralympic / Olympic athletes who’ll agree to take part in the film. And maybe a small crowd too....

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Save the Date! - 31st October 2012

14 November 2011

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Storyboard with 12 pink index cards filled with writing pinned on it

 So, that’s it then… Well at least I’ve sent the form off to book the room, now I have to write the thing! Good Lord. What am I on about? I’m on about the 31st October 2012. That’s right, when everybody’s absolutely stuffed with anything to do with the Olympics and Paralympics (except for my short film of course, which will be playing for many years after ;) 31st October 2012 is when you can all come to the lovely Dorking Halls and hear the first ever...

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Gary talks to Mark Lever about their film 'Moving In'

6 November 2011

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Last year I worked with Mark Lever on 'Moving In', a comedy drama about University life. I directed the pilot episode, which can be seen on youtube. I interviewed Mark about the process and how it came about. So how did Moving In come together? Moving In spawned from an idea I had about this family where, the main character, (Michael) has Asperger's Syndrome. I wanted to explore how he dealt with things when he first goes to college and has this support assistant breathing down his neck at...

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Gary asks what is the difference between film, and artist film & video?

29 October 2011

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two photos of men collaged, one on top of the other

As I walked around Tate Modern in 2002 I was struck by so many things while watching Eija-Liisa Ahtila's work. My main question was, 'Why is this Art?' How is it the Arts Council don't fund film yet this has clearly been deemed as art by others with suitable knowledge? This was before I spent a year working on my first Arts Council application with Abbie Norris, and before I was successful in receiving my first commission from DADA-South (largely inspired by Eija's work). During that time I...

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A (short) review of Frieze 2011 Art Fair

3 October 2011

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Frieze Art Fair 2011 banner image

As I walked into The Frieze Art Fair I was confronted with a lot of reflected spinning discs which were suspended from atop the marquee, which immediately made me very disorientated. Not a great start, but interesting nonetheless. Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London, had a number of impressive pieces, mainly photographs (which is probably why I liked them) but also paintings and sculpture. Yvonne Lambert, Paris was also fairly impressive, with colourful works in neon as well as paintings with text...

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I don’t need step free access but….

2 September 2011

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So my time at the Edinburgh Festival is almost at an end, I’m staying tonight and going back to Glasgow tomorrow. Two more shows, one late one 11.10pm start, for goodness sake! Though my friend is in it so I really want to see it. Anyway, that aside, it’s been an interesting experience having been here only ever for the film festival. When the film festival was on in August I used to never have time to do anything else other than see films, as that’s what I wanted to do, but...

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Booking special assistance

1 September 2011

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disability access symbols with an added symbol with a question mark and exclamation mark

I am at the station on the way to Gatwick Airport. I still have a headache six days after a random assault. (I was rugby tackled to the ground from behind, kicked in the face / head and three times in the ribs before I ran.) I feel more fragile than normal, aside from everything else, and yet I was pondering over whether I'm entitled to special assistance when I get to the airport. I wonder if many people with 'hidden disabilities' have this feeling. It's a feeling of... well, having to explain...

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Images of Disability from the Royal College of Physicians

4 August 2011

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sepia illustration of a bewigged gentleman of short stature

Whilst on the way to see the new Shape exhibition, 'Re-framing disability: portraits from the Royal College of Physicians', I was watching the classic 1967 film ‘Guess who's coming to dinner’ on the train. I was struck by how much I knew about the film having only seen it once a few years ago. I went to the Re-Framing Disability exhibition and realised I knew nearly all the people that worked on it. But I wondered why not just have new images of disability, and people’s views...

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New Art at MK Gallery, Milton Keynes

3 August 2011

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photo of a car boot sale by Frazer Waller

I had a very positive meeting with Head of Learning, Emma Fry at MK Gallery in Milton Keynes. They're developing lots of new initiatives to support Artist film and video, including the creation of a permanent gallery for the work; and the programming of more workshops and expansion of the number of artists they work with. We also chatted briefly about the galleries relationship with the Turner Prize, as I was interested in this aspect of the arts and in particular how I might get to know more...

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Gary Thomas' Project The Dog & The Palace Film & Workshops wins Inspire Mark

21 June 2011

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A statue of the Dog on the steps of a palace, sitting on a cushion.

Gary Thomas' new project The Dog & The Palace Film and Workshops has been granted the Inspire Mark, the badge of the London 2012 Inspire Programme. The London 2012 Inspire programme recognises innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Dog & The Palace is about a young boy who is so inspired by watching the 2012 Olympic Games on TV that he decides to write to The Queen of England to say 'Thank You'. He sends...

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