Tom Leighton is an artist, photographer, and printmaker, with a fascination with architectural structure and form. Trained at the Royal College of Art in London, he expertly layers and manipulates his photographic images, creating work that is both beautiful and provocative, encouraging us to imagine different possibilities for the world around us.
Tom Leighton Reveals the Nightlife of Foliage in His Variegation Series
His Variegation series reveals the nightlife of foliage—Leighton focuses on plants from Cornwall, some of which he grows in his garden and others farther afield—and examines what humans might have been able to see if our night vision had evolved.
Leighton’s close and conjectural explorations are about environments both natural and constructed. Traveling between ancient cities and the most futuristic developments of Hong Kong and the Middle East, he works with buildings and cityscapes which are part of an international iconography - and those that are more hidden from the tourist’s gaze. The elaborate images he then creates, ask about our cities and what they might become.
Photographing Design in Nature
More recently, Tom Leighton has turned very specifically to design in nature - and the invitation here might again be to contrast the power inherent in the construction, with a sense of its fragility and impermanence. Again his observation is careful and questioning. Again he enhances and manipulates and abstracts, focusing our attention on the intricacy of a leaf or the layering of feathers in flight, or the implied volcanic force which has created a tower of rock at the edge of the sea. This work, like his cityscapes, is beautiful and surprising, and, like them, carries a mark of the surreal.
More About Tom Leighton
Embodied in all of his images, whether the source is urban architecture or the structures of nature, is a sense of wonder. At once futuristic and reflective, Leighton’s work demands multiple takes. You can discover more of his work on his website or enjoy his photographic art on Instagram.