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Under Cover Artist: Tom Morley

2 December 19 interview: LeftLion

LeftLion photographer Tom Platinum Morley gives us the story behind the cover and poster for this month’s issue...

Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m a freelance photographer based in Notts. Usually I get hired for live events and such-like, though if you pay me, I’ll be there for anything! Someone said to me last week that ‘freelancing is a lifestyle, not a job’, and I’d definitely agree. Other than that, I like weird and wonderful people and trying to understand art.

What was the inspiration behind the cover?
The ‘drunken Santa in a bath’ idea has been in the air of the LeftLion office for a few years. I think it was Bridie that first mentioned it to me. As for the inspiration… I mean, who doesn’t want to see Mr and Mrs Claus getting messed up in a bathroom? 

How does it compare with other projects you’ve worked on?
Most of my work centres around a stage or arty scene of some sort, so getting to work on a planned shoot was a nice treat. The whole team really pulled it together so well. I’m mostly surprised that we managed to find a bathroom that mostly fitted what we needed and that the owner (thank you again!) let us do it. 

What was the biggest challenge that you faced in creating the piece?
The whole thing went really smoothly. Nothing can be entirely perfect, but for the time and budget limits we had, I think we smashed it. We did have to stop half way through shooting though, as the young lad that lived in the house came running in shouting “I need a poo.”

How do you feel about Christmas?
Bah humbug! Other than for the younger family members I couldn’t really care less about Christmas myself. Unless it snows. Then I act like an excited four-year-old. 

Tell us about some projects you’ve worked on in the past…
I was part of this year’s Off Centre Festival again which is always nice. I had my long-term daily Instagram project (@i_forget_therefore_i_insta) up in The Carousel. In the autumn I was part of the group exhibition Castle Ruins III at The King Billy. I tried something a bit different with that one and dug into my mental health issues for the sake of art, and then had to make a new Instagram to house that side of things (@emotions_art_photons). 

What have you got planned for the future?
Other than building up my freelancing business (hire me!) I have started work on a side project to document and build profiles of some of the amazing creatives and generally interesting people we have in this city. 

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the LeftLion readers?
*Slowly walks backwards singing James Blunt’s You're Beautiful while being lifted in the air by drag queens. Cut to top down shot of me spinning slowly as a Christmassy mist and snow billow gently in. Then glittery graphics appear with a wave of my hand: ‘Merry Christmas you filthy animals’.* 

Tom Morley instagram

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