Bonsai and Environmental Artist
The Carbon Credit Machine
Thorhammer (Thor) Beowulf was a PhD candidate (interdisciplinary cross-cultural research) at the Australian National University, researching the art and aesthetics of bonsai and how it mediates the highly contested space between nature and art/culture. Thor was also a practising environmental artist and bonsai expert who has studied in Japan, Europe and the U.S. and specialisesd in using living botanical organisms and bonsai in his sculpture practice.
In November, 2014, he was diagnosed with grade 4 pancreatic cancer and, unfortunately, passed away in August, 2015, just short of his 60th birthday.
Thor exhibited both classical and avant-garde bonsai at the Art Gallery of NSW during the 2003 Japan Four Seasons Exhibition and, in 2012, won the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize with a bonsai “steam punk”-inspired work.
In November 2013, he was included in the Natural Flux exhibition, held at the Brick Lane Gallery in London’s East End, and now regularly exhibits in gallery and public sculpture events, including the Sawmillers Sculpture Prize at North Sydney; the Sculpture on the Edge Prize at Bermagui and the La Lune: Energy Producing Art exhibition in Sydney, curated by the Environment Research Initiative for Art (ERIA) at University of NSW Art & Design (UNSWA&D).
He became involved in group exhibitions at M16 ArtSpace in Canberra, where he shared a studio with his wife, Melissa Beowulf, AirProject Gallery in Marrickville, Sydney, and 2014 Artisans in the Gardens at the Royal Botanic Gardens, also in Sydney.
He was the registered bonsai expert at the ANU and his son currently maintains the Brett Whiteley bonsai on behalf of the Whiteley Foundation, taking up his father's mantle.