In 2010 the British Shakespeare Association commissioned Tom de Freston and Kiran Millwood Hargrave to make a body of paintings and poems in response to the plays of Shakespeare. This resulted in the publication of a book of paintings and poems and a touring exhibition. The book includes essays on the work by Dr. Abigail Rokison and Sir Trevor Nunn. Displays of the paintings were held at the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum (Tokyo), The Globe Theatre and Pallant House Gallery.
These works were the focus of de Freston’s first solo exhibition with Breese Little Gallery, at Frameless Gallery, Islington. The show included an exhibition catalogue with essays on the paintings by Richard Cork and Dr. Rye Holmboe.
I get exactly that feeling of bleak despair from Tom’s harrowing Lear paintings, powerful to encounter and difficult to live with…Sir Trevor Nunn
Obsessed by images of humanity on the very edge of disintegration, Tom de Freston is audacious enough to convey our most haunted fears about a world struggling for survival in the twenty-first centuryRichard Cork
Yet it is precisely by raising social critique to the level of form that de Freston conveys the crisis of meaning integral to the reified and secularised world of late capitalism.Dr. Rye Holmboe