Tom Samek

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Tom Samek (11 March 1950 – October 2021)[1][2] was a Czech artist who lived and worked in Australia.[3] He was a painter, stage designer and printmaker.[1]

Life and work[edit]

Tom Samek was born in Prague, Czech Republic.[1] He moved to Germany and Switzerland in 1969, then Austria the following year and Australia in 1971.[3] In 1972 he studied printmaking with Eric Smodic in Austria for a year, then returned to Australia the following year.[3] He settled in Tasmania.[4]

Tom Samek. Smelling Mistake, digital print.

In 1997, he painted a mural in the foyer of the School of Engineering at the University of Tasmania.[5]

Samek's largest, and perhaps finest,[6] work is Flawed History of Tasmanian Wine, a floor mural in a gallery above the tasting room of the Meadowbank Estate winery and restaurant in Tasmania.[6] The floor is painted, carved and etched in Samek's "unique style",[6] and integrated with his friend Graeme Phillips' comic and nonsense poetry.[6] The work was finished in December 2005, half of the $160,000 cost being met by the Federal Government.[6]

In 2009, he returned to the University of Tasmania School of Engineering to create a mosaic mural, featuring names of notable engineers, and staff and students. It was unveiled during the 50th anniversary celebration of the school.[7]

Samek made prints, including etchings, which "revel in the indulgences of food and drink."[8] He adopted a whimsical view of Australian customs and language, at one time concentrating on faces and wine glasses, and in 2006 focusing on parrots as subject matter.[9]

In the latter part of his life, he was based in Hobart, Tasmania.[10] He died in October 2021 after a long battle with motor neurone disease.[2][11]


Samek's work is represented in the Australian National Gallery, South Australian Art Gallery, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Auckland City Gallery, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Australia Council, and Artbank.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Prints and printmaking", National Gallery of Australia. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Celebrated Tasmanian artist Tom Samek, whose works are dotted throughout Hobart, dies". ABC News. 21 October 2021. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "Tom Samek", Bett Gallery, Hobart. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  4. ^ Backhouse, Sue (Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery) 2000. "Feature Article - Tasmanian artists - 100 years", Tasmanian Year Book 2000, Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  5. ^ "A golden success", School of Engineering, University of Tasmania. Retrieved 24 May 2010. This page shows a photo of Samek in front of his 2009 mosaic mural (second image).
  6. ^ a b c d e Bell, John (19 May 2007). "Spoilt for choice with wine". The Courier-Mail. Archived from the original on 11 April 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  7. ^ Le Grew, Professor Daryl (Vice-Chancellor, University of Tasmania). "Time for celebrations", Alumni News, University of Tasmania, p. 3, December 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  8. ^ Scott, Aaron (13 November 2008). "Quiet please, artists at work". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 6 November 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  9. ^ Bell, John (3 May 2007). "Hitting Tassie's cultural trail". The Courier-Mail. Archived from the original on 16 April 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  10. ^ a b "Tom Samek". University of Tasmania. School of Engineering. Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  11. ^ "Farewell to celebrated Tasmanian artist Tom Samek". The Mercury. 21 October 2021. Retrieved 21 October 2021.