Thomas Freer

I’ve always been an artist and sculptor, but I’ve also gained some valuable and relevant therapeutic experience along the way. I’ve worked within the special needs childcare and education system, with children and young adults with challenging behaviour and with children and adults with autism. This therapeutic research forms the backbone of my current sculptural work, as I create pieces of art that can benefit everyone regardless of their physical or mental abilities.

I have continued to develop my work with the help of some very special people, consulting with therapists and practitioners and developing products directly for the people they work with. 

My most popular product, the oval Portable Timberharp, was inspired by a teenage girl who has an enormous love of music but profound disabilities. Together we developed an instrument that she could play with her feet that always sounded beautiful, conquering her physical limitations. The resultant product has gone on to benefit a huge range of people from a young mum with autistic twins; an elderly man with Parkinson’s; as a tool for an occupational therapist working with end-of-life dementia patients in hospital; as well as many special needs schools and colleges.

I continue to exhibit my larger musical sculptures at key events and festivals - this year my work is at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival and Royal Botanic Gardens Wakehurst. I’ve also just produced a harp-shaped piece of work for Intel, for their research centre at the University of Central Dublin. 

Most of my designs are built in my studio by the beach in Worthing, with a small team of experts on hand to help with some of the important bits.