Tom Holley

A creative director, artist, designer, producer and curator with over twenty years’ professional experience working in the visual arts and creative industries. Extensive knowledge of the digital and media landscape. An entrepreneurial spirit with excellent strategic and creative vision.

Tom has worked extensively in the cultural and creative industries, in both the public and private sectors, for organisations at the forefront of digital culture, including: Arts Council England; The Culture Capital Exchange; BBC Online; the Institute of Contemporary Arts; Eyestorm; The Media Centre and Phoenix Square Film and Digital Media.

He has delivered consultancy and design services to creative, cultural and design businesses and national agencies including Arts Council England (ACE) and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA).

Holley Studio initiates new projects and also offers a range of services to clients in the cultural and creative industries.

: tom@holley.studio | Twitter: @triplefiltered | LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/tomholley1

Career History

Tom studied at Chelsea (Foundation, Fine Art), Byam Shaw (BA, Fine Art) and The Slade schools of art (MA, Sculpture), and Middlesex University (MA, Design for Interactive Media). During his studies he worked as a freelance exhibition producer and studio assistant to many artists and creative practitioners, including Richard Wilson and Susan Hiller.

After leaving college he established a studio in London creating installations, models, art directing and making bespoke furniture and interiors for clients in the arts and media worlds.

He maintained a personal studio practice as an artist and exhibited his work at galleries including Matt’s Gallery, the London Film-Makers Co-op and The Economist Building.

Using computers and software as creative tools in his studio led him to complete the MA, Design for Interactive Media at Middlesex University in 1998. For the following fifteen years he was immersed in driving R&D, disruptive innovation, production and presentation of pioneering interactive digital arts content in gallery, online, mobile and live performance contexts.

During this time he conceived and delivered complex strategic and creative visions for businesses that sought to operate at the forefront of digital in an international context. This work engaged the social, economic and cultural debates around the creative industries, culture-led regeneration and the impact of the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

As Lead Designer at BBC Online he designed the first BBC Football website and collaborated with broadcast colleagues on groundbreaking work on websites supporting television and radio programming including: Radio One; East Enders and Walking with Dinosaurs.

He left the BBC to take up the position of Head of Digital at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) where his curatorial work, including talks, conferences, festivals and exhibitions by artists and designers such as Mongrel, Danny Brown, John Maeda and Tomato engaged the new wave of thinkers and artists who were shaping the then emerging digital scene.

Tom brokered the first tranche of digital entrepreneurs to join the Cultural Entrepreneurs Club at the ICA, which supported 500 of London’s most innovative young creative businesses.

He joined the ‘dot-com boom’ when he was appointed as Head of Digital at the e-commerce art sales website and ‘clicks-to-bricks’ gallery Eyestorm, who represented Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Magnum Photos and the Saatchi Gallery. He helped launch Eyestorm’s London and New York hybrid stores/galleries – producing events showcasing British artists Greyworld and VJs The Light Surgeons for audiences in New York for the first time.

Tom has been the Creative Director of two notable urban regeneration projects that established innovative mixed use business models; the influential Media Centre in Huddersfield – a cluster of 120 arts and creative SMEs, a bespoke digital art gallery (the Medialounge), cafe and live-work apartments and the landmark £26 million Phoenix Square Film and Digital Media in Leicester – a complex of three digital cinemas, digital art gallery, restaurant, creative business spaces, production studios and private apartments.

He established and directed the Ultrasound Festival (2002-2007), international artist in residency programmes, co-founded the Digital Research Unit (a collaboration with Huddersfield University), curated numerous exhibitions and events, developed websites and commissioned work by hundreds of artists, designers, technologists, engineers, architects and musicians.

Tom is in the process of establishing a new interdisciplinary art and design studio practice, Holley Studio.

He currently works part-time at Arts Council England as a relationship Manager in the visual arts team, specialising in digital.


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