Tom Mutch


  • December 2013
    We have moved back to New Zealand!! Back to the beautiful, green, relatively simplistic way of life in the Land of the Long White Cloud. Australia is such a different country....the Big Red Land with all its incredible creatures and extreme conditions was very exciting and challenging. We are back on the Coromandel Peninsula. Email us for directions and come visit if you are over this way.

    While away, Tom published another title Fences Fence You In (see "Events" page). If you wish to order a copy, email us at (or see "Contact Us" page). And painting... at the moment, Tom is working towards a show in March at Bread&Butter Gallery in Whitianga, and he has just had made, 9 editions of silkscreen prints (please see "Catalogue" page). They are on the deluxe Fabriano 100% cotton paper. To order, email us at (or see "Contact Us" page)

    We wish you all a Merry Christmas and safe travels during your holidays.
  • March 2013
    Five months in a new studio has produced eBooks, paintings, sculpture and an exhibition opening March 15 2013 at OP81 in Coffs Harbour. (Please see events page for an invitation). 
    It's been a long, hot and rather wet summer. Still adjusting to the environment; missing our NZ friends and the landscape.
  • December 2012
    We are pleased to be able to say (after all these years of talking about "when it was going to happen")....we have finally sold our home and studio - Birds Nest Studio - which means, sadly, there will be no more Annual Exhibitions.
    We'd like to thank all those who have supported us over the years, as collectors of artworks by our exhibiting artists, and/or as visitors at various times over the last 12 years of Exhibitions. It has been a pleasure to meet everyone; many of whom have become close friends, and also to meet those who had young families that we've watched over the years, develop their tastes in art.

We especially give heartfelt thanks to the Artists who have shown with us - Nick Dryden, Yani Fill-Dryden, Jacqui Elley, Ann Tucker, Chris Charteris, Michael Smither, Gian McGregor, Llew Summers, David McCracken, Richard Mathieson, Terry Stringer, Mary McIntyre, Greer Twiss, Kevin Ireland, Frank Malerba, and to the Musicians who have played for us - Karen Heathcote, Sasha and Natarani Witten-Hannah (Heartstrings), Ben Crawford & Chris Foreman, Ralph Moog with Mal Barnes, Jennifer and Dylan.
Each artist gave of their personalities with their presence and through their artwork thereby making every Show an extraordinary event, and the musicians enhancing the creative atmosphere of the Opening Day.
And of course, a special thanks goes to our friends and families, and partners and friends of the artists who helped, behind the scenes, to crank things up before the Opening and to wind things down afterwards. We couldn't have done it without their help.
So now, after living 42 years in New Zealand, Tom has returned home to Australia, settling in coastal NSW, where he is about to publish his sixth novel titled FENCES FENCE YOU IN. He is also painting and sculpting for an exhibition at Melbourne's Jackman Gallery in 2013.
If you would like to drop us a line to keep in touch, please do so on:  It will be great to hear from you.
Wishing you Seasons Greetings with good health and prosperity for 2013.

  • December 2011
    Writing continues to be much of Tom's creative focus. Most of 2011 has been concentrated on finishing and editing The Orchardist for publishing in November. A review and image can be seen on our Events page.
    Birds Nest Studio starts 2012 with an exhibition of Tom's recent landscapes; and as the year progresses, so shall The Red Shoe, a murder mystery in two parts….something for readers to look out for.
    Tom Mutch still continues to paint when the right image presents itself.

  • October 2009
    In recently published - "Management Education for Global Sustainability", Dr Ralph Bathhurst and Dr Margot Edwards of Massey University, Auckland revolve their essay (Chapter 5) around Tom's powerful painting The Carbon Footprint of War and the Pollution of Religion 2007. These books are to be placed in libraries and Business Academies throughout USA.

Click here to
download Chapter 5

by Ralph Bathurst and Margot Edwards

"This chapter adopts an artistic view of the issue of sustainability. We identify war as the most significant global barrier to sustainable development. We argue that art offers a means of unmasking the underlying heroic myths of war, a necessary antecedent to developing sustainable business practices. To do so we begin by examining the current literature on sustainability and adopt a critical position of the ideology that seeks a balance between exploitation and preservation. In this light we discuss the role of the artist as social commentator and explore the aesthetic of dissonance using the metaphor of the catalytic jolt. We then examine contemporary art, and in particular an analysis of a work by Australasian artist Tom Mutch, the Carbon Footprint and note how this kind of approach can be used as an educational tool in the business studies classroom. Our discussion ends by looking at how our relationship with the planet may be nurtured and, the need to institute sustainable practices that ensure a thriving future."


  • Tom Mutch continues to write. His latest novel, with the working title of Coco, is about the life of a child after he is stolen, at the age of 10 weeks, from his pushchair in the car park of a Mall. He lives a life of lies until he is introduced to the real world by "Dingoman", a recluse who is scorned by the only parents Coco knows.
  • August 2009 Tom Mutch exhibits in a Group Show with Yifeng Tan at Jackman Gallery in Melbourne. 

  • July 2009 Tom's writing continues to flow. He has completed the manuscript of his fifth novel - The Red Shoe - A reclusive successful artist living out his lustful obsessions stumbles across an abandoned red high-heeled shoe. The shoe re-ignites his passion to paint, believing the owner to be the muse he has been searching for. This twisted tale of mystery, seduction and murder follows the life of the owner of the shoe and her connection to the artist's past and her dubious relationship with the Banana Baron and his off-sider Sticky-beak, fresh from upstate, stomping their own kind of mark, money and violence in to the matrix and personality of each character. Truths are laid bare, exposing greed and paranoia from the city's elite and powerful to the seedier side of the arts community. As the reclusive artist finds redemption in his practice, he unwittingly becomes the focus of the variety of protagonists that all have something to lose.

  • March 2008-Feb 2009 Tom Mutch is taking a sabbatical year from painting and New Zealand. He is spending six months in Coffs Harbour, NSW, where he is focusing his creative energy on writing and drawing, and his recreational energy on body- surfing, and planning a camping road-trip around Australia. Any enquiries into existing works (and his whereabouts) can be made by email: .

  • April 2008 - completion of his fourth novel - The Orchardist - a divisive diabolical tale of deceit, betrayal and enlightenment set within rural provincial bigotry. The Lime household is turned inside out by the arrival of a traveling vagrant concealing a flute, books and coloured stones with mystical stories of their restorative healing powers, compelling the combative apple farmer Leslie Lime towards abandoning the holocaust of poisons, chemicals and to convert to organics. Shunned, ridiculed, and savaged by Marie Presley Lime's acidic tongue, Les capitulates under the severe strain and treachery of the modern world. This is a story of frailty and adversity wrapped inside a treasure of light, colour, music and love; of devious conceit and fanciful desires. Farcical one moment then redeemingly exultant the next, riding the deplorable troughs and peaks of human relationships, brought to its knees by exotic events. It will leave you guessing its outcome. Economic in its facets, like a gem waiting to be exposed, it bleeds colour trapped within its earthly soil, bruised fruit, pruned emotions, and buoyant respite of blue sky, reveling in the music of Bach.

  • Tom Mutch completes the Superbird trilogy. The last title "The Truth Stream" for release in December 2007.

  • Tom Mutch develops a new series of works which ruminates on the carbon-footprint of war. The study drawings of this series were made in response to a trip to New York City where he attended the NY International Independent Film & Video Festival in 2005.

  • "In An Upside Down World" is published December 2006.

  • Tom Mutch’s movement towards writing and film-making in recent years demonstrates his versatile ability to maximize on the use of any art medium to depict what he needs to say.

  • His novel "The Birth of Superbird", published in Oct 2005, is the first of a trilogy. The second book "In an Upside Down World" is well on its way. "Superbird is a champion for nature. He has the ability to change in colour and in size. He can slip into your culture and your consciousness, and the rest is up to you."

  • The five minute animated short film, "The Birth of Superbird", created and written by Mutch was made in association with Rob Nunn, one of Australia’s top animators. Completed in 2004, it went on to win the New York International Independent Film Festival Grand Jury Award for Best Animation in November 2005.

  • The art book "Tom Mutch Antipodean Artist" covering 30 years of his work, written by Kathryn Webster, published by David Bateman Ltd, released in October 2004, gives his full history. It is a must for those who love art and art history. This 144 paged book is available at $50 (plus p & p).

  • Tom Mutch’s art is diverse, from Still Life, Landscape, to Symbolic/ Allegorical paintings. His subject matter is always on the move. He has made over 100 limited edition silkscreen prints, and sculptures in steel, stone, bronze and wood, though painting is still his main obsession.

  • Mutch has worked as an artist for 32 years. He spent the first seven years of his painting career working in Michael Smither’s studio, learning his trade. Has had over 40 solo shows and been in 70 group shows

  • Generous with his artistic vision, he founded Birds Nest Studio; a gallery/sculpture garden set in his country home & studio, inviting guest artists to participate in the successful annual events – 1999 to 2005.

  • He has one dealer, Raywin Lim, Birds Nest Studio, who is in constant contact with his work, and can be reached from this website or

Tom Mutch

  • Born 1951 Sydney, Australia

  • Moved to NZ 1971

  • Studied/trained under M.D.Smither in his New Plymouth Studio 1973 - 80

  • Worked as Education Officer, Mural Supervisor, Govett Brewster Art Gallery, 1980-1982

  • Began exhibiting 1973

  • Worked as professional artist since 1983

  • Received QEII art council grant 1984 for ‘Mt Messenger-Meditation’ - Installation Performance work

  • Won TSB Art Award 1986

  • Member of TACO (Taranaki Arts Co-op) 1982 – 1986

  • Founding member of Huatoki Art Gallery, artists co-op gallery New Plymouth 1985

  • Has traveled to and exhibited in London 1980, New York 1985, Australia 1977, 1983, 1988, 2001

  • Traveled Nepal India Thailand Malaysia USA Canada Vietnam.

  • Now lives and works in Kuaotunu, Coromandel Peninsula (since 1991)

  • Founded Birds Nest Studio, a gallery/sculpture garden in Kuaotunu 1996. Guest artist were, thereafter, invited to show in annual exhibitions.

  • Describes himself as a symbolist neo-realist and a colourist by nature

  • Produces paintings, silkscreen prints and sculptures (metal, wood, stone, bronze)

  • Published Writer and Award-Winning Film-maker


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