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Watch this time lapse of an ambidextrous artist

PUBLISHED: 10:13 04 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:44 04 September 2018

Artist Tom Hill who sketches using both hands, working on a portrait at NUA, with his subject, Annabel Gaelle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Artist Tom Hill who sketches using both hands, working on a portrait at NUA, with his subject, Annabel Gaelle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

Have you ever tried to write with the wrong hand?

One artist has gone much further than that at this year’s Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) MA Degree Show.

Norwich-based Fine Arts graduate Thomas Hill has made a name for himself by sketching and painting with two hands at once.

The 40-year-old, and father, uses a spontaneous and free flowing technique to create his art.

He said: “In the past I did a lot of very detailed drawings, now I’m just trying to free up and be more spontaneous.

Artist Tom Hill who sketches using both hands, with Landscape in 36 pieces, part of his work on display for his Masters degree at NUA. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYArtist Tom Hill who sketches using both hands, with Landscape in 36 pieces, part of his work on display for his Masters degree at NUA. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“Nearly everything exhibited here is what’s near me or around me. I carry my materials in my bag with me.

“One painting is of a friend from the MA just at the bar. Another I did in a downpour in Costa Coffee on Prince of Wales Road.

“I naturally started drawing with both hands. I experimented with my left hand as I’m right handed and it’s quite interesting, the marks that come out of that process.

“I’ve got a little boy, he’s two and a half. He actually does a lot of stuff as well with two hands, so maybe it’s genetic!”

Artist Tom Hill who sketches using both hands, with some of his work for his Masters degree at NUA. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYArtist Tom Hill who sketches using both hands, with some of his work for his Masters degree at NUA. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The spontaneous nature of Mr Hill’s work means he often takes inspiration from his direct surroundings, which has made Norwich a particular focus of his art.

One of Mr Hill’s most eye-catching works is his watercolour ‘Landscape in 36 Pieces’ of St George’s Street where the NUA is located, painted on pages of an English architecture text book.

He said: “I realised I had this massive seven metre long wall for my exhibition space, so I created as big a painting as I could.

“If you’re looking at a landscape there’s so much detail and so many layers of history and often we don’t notice that.

The finished depiction of fellow artist Annabel Gaelle by Tom Hill. PHOTO: Tom HillThe finished depiction of fellow artist Annabel Gaelle by Tom Hill. PHOTO: Tom Hill

“I’ve included the Damien Hirst sculpture. I was sitting on St George’s Street and I saw it through the bushes, and I thought, some people hate this, some people love it, some people say it’s not art.

“I thought it would be really interesting to have it in a picture.

“Artists often have a lot of pleasure from just seeing things, and if you can convey it there’s a lot of function to that. That’s kind of a challenge.”

The NUA MA Show is on until September 5 in Guntons Building, St Georges Street, Norwich.

Artist Tom Hill who sketches using both hands, working on a portrait at NUA. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYArtist Tom Hill who sketches using both hands, working on a portrait at NUA. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Damien Hirst's statue Hymn features in one of artist Tom Hill's Masters degree artwork at NUA, Landscape in 36 pieces. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYDamien Hirst's statue Hymn features in one of artist Tom Hill's Masters degree artwork at NUA, Landscape in 36 pieces. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

'A visit to Kettle's Yard' by Tom Hill, shortlisted for the Sunday Times 2018 Watercolour competition. PHOTO: Tom Hill'A visit to Kettle's Yard' by Tom Hill, shortlisted for the Sunday Times 2018 Watercolour competition. PHOTO: Tom Hill

Artist Tom Hill who sketches using both hands, working on a portrait at NUA. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYArtist Tom Hill who sketches using both hands, working on a portrait at NUA. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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