AN ARTIST has left the picturesque sights of Holmfirth behind for the Far East.
Tom Powell is currently travelling around Thailand, Vietnam and Australia.
And with more than 20 sketch and note books in hand, the 23-year-old is hoping to return with a collection of art work and ideas which will go on show at Holmfirth’s Riverside Art.
Tom, who lived in Meltham, is being sponsored by the newly-opened gallery and art shop Touch of Colour in a unique scheme to support young artists.
He will paint a canvas when he returns which his sponsors at Holmfirth’s Riverside Art hope to auction off.
He will also exhibit a collection of pieces, created while he is travelling and when he returns, after being inspired by the places he visits.
Tom said: “I travel with an open mind and this journey will enable me to see, touch, taste, smell and hear things that I have never before experienced.
“I will be exposed to new cultures, people, art, places and architecture and I intend on absorbing as much as I can.
“The combination of all these new experiences bombarding my senses will add to my ever increasing artistic resources in many ways. The main reason that this journey will be beneficial in terms of art is that I can experience all the various stimuli first hand.”
As well as sketch books and journals, he will also be photographing much of what he sees and use the still images when he returns to create even more artwork.
“The use of both my camera and sketch books will allow me to constantly capture and portray the key ephemeral moments, which expose and encapsulate my travels in far away places,” he added.
Riverside Art is aiming to support young artists after they graduate and hope to sponsor a different artist every year.
They hope Tom will use his experience and skills to encourage young people to get arty when he returns.
Alan Dalgetty of the Riverside Art gallery, said: “As an off-shoot of Riverside Art we want to sponsor a graduating artist and help them with studio and material costs.
“If in the first six months of graduating an artist isn’t working then it’s likely they’ll move on to other things.
“Many young artists struggle so we want to give something back and encourage them to continue in art.”
Tom is running a blog on Riverside Art’s Facebook page and will include sketches and drawings during his time away.
Alan added: “I’ve known Tom since he was a baby and, along with his dad Tim, I have seen his interest in art develop.
“Tom was already going travelling so we wanted to use that experience to benefit the gallery when he returns.
“He’s got an open ticket but we are hoping he’ll be back before Christmas and he’ll be in the studio and doing some work for us.”
Tom is a graduate of Loughborough University.
He arrived in Bangkok last Monday and will be travelling through Thailand, Vietnam and Australia with the aim of extending his portfolio of paintings and drawings.
Alan added: “This is one of the many ideas we have for encouraging artists.
“Our vision for Riverside was to surprise people with what we are doing and there’s more to come.”
Visit Riverside Art on Facebook for updates about the gallery and Tom’s trip.