Tom Civil is a printmaker, muralist, street artist and community graphic designer. Central to Tom’s current work are the Stick Folk, who manifest themselves as diminutive sprites that live hidden in the composition of his etchings or as bold tags across walls. The Stick Folk are representations of Tom’s personal connection to the land and the city. They live, hangout, protest, dance and move across the landscape, an Aussie punk mash-up of old storybooks and contemporary political cartooning. Tom’s work has reflected notions of grief and loss, and a searching for beauty in death.
Tom is interested in how street art, graffiti and murals create community, mark space, build a sense of place, and act as a human-scaled form of urban architecture. His street stencil work and murals have been featured in various publications including Melbourne Stencil Art Capital, Street|Studio, Space Invaders (NGA), Street Art Now, the film Rash, the ABC TV series NotQuiteArt, as a feature artist in the Melbourne Stencil Festival 2004/05/09 and the Cans Festival in London in 2008. He has also exhibited walk-through installations and worked closely with his father Tony and his brother Ned, who died from cancer in late 2010. Tom has given workshops and talks in different communities about murals and the political nature of street art. He has worked as a graphic designer for various community and arts projects including; independent media websites, multicultural organisations, prison radio broadcasts, environmental and social justice protests, rooming housing posters, youth arts and mental health videos. He is also the co-founder of small Melbourne-based publishers Breakdown Press.