Tomáš Hlavenka was born in Brno on 8 February 1977. He is a sculptor and painter, he makes too landarts projects in nature. In 1998 – 2004 he studied under Vladimír Merta and Marian Palla at the Studio of Environment at the Faculty of Fine Arts. He has been teaching at the Painting 1 studio at the school since 2008. He is also a curator (exhibition Houby v Brně [Fungi], 2012). He collaborated with Pavel Jirásek on NA HOUBY (Mushroom Picking), a popular science TV show, for which he created a mushroom picker’s bone staff.
Hlavenka appealed to a broader public with his wall installations of moss altars and recycled motives of sculptures of hunting chases. Wildlife and humans’ relations to it are his stable source of inspiration. He uses diverse resources for his objects and sculptures: natural materials (stones, bones, antlers, driftwood and wood tubers – the so-called spheroplasts) as well as cast iron, charred wood and polyurethane foam. He is fond of toying with material connections between the living world and the inanimate world.
Hlavenka, an ardent mycologist, is dazzled by the multiform organism of the fungus, which became an important topic of his work after 2000. He focuses on paradoxical or anachronic links between the material used, the motif created and its name. The most notable examples of this include the mushrooms of the Smrtky [Grim Reapers] series, created from bleached bones found in the countryside, or the mushrooms of the Černě [Blacks] series made of charred wood. Another significant part of his works is represented by Hlavenka’s trees or shrubs made of cast iron, the Příroda je tvrdá [Nature is Hard] cycle. He places these works in the landscape thus creating artificial analogies to their natural counterparts; when exhibiting them galleries, he likes planting them in concrete floors and having them grow through walls. A visitor expecting pliant branches may receive a hard and painful surprise.
Hlavenka’s objects are closely linked to his painting. The most exemplary paintings are represented by his Art Brut cycle. Their hyperboles combined with an inexpert painting technique (mirrored by the use of low culture forms in his objects) blend into a synthetic dialogue of poetic banality and folk humour. He chooses kitsch attributes of the world of amateur hunters, mushroom pickers, cottage owners and family hikers for the topics of his works. This ground plan featuring the media of objects, painting, installations as well as video recordings becomes the base for Hlavenka’s light-hearted comments on the situation of the relation between the contemporary urban population and the natural world.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Ilona Víchová
As graduate from the Atelier of Conceptual Tendencies and Environment at Faculty of Contemporary art’s VUT in Brno, Tomáš Hlavenka has been devoted to natural topics programmaticaly and in the long-therm. He points out to deep relationsbetween a human being and the nature, but also to human search and collections in his works. Playfulness, irony, very often even camp recycling are characteristic signs of his artistic expresion. In addition to other object, he is presenting in the exhibition first of all a series of mushrooms of stones, bones, but also burnt wood evoking an illusion of actual reality wich can be found in the nature. Likewise, we can find cast iron trees, bushes or roots, wich fixed in real countryside evoked a live disagreeing reaction, in his performance. And so, Hlavenka not only draws from the nature, but he also  adds to it by his own characteristic humour and „improves“  it in his own way, e.g. by switching organic and inorganic mass thus expressing symbology of never ending growth and cessation. In contrast to damped natural materials, he uses polyurethane foam to model huge mushrooms but also other objects, very often aggressive in colour, symbolizing animal cellular expansion and exuberance. A „poisonously“ pink exuberant object entitled „Stress“ is also commemoration of traps spying in the world around us.
Author’s exhibition projection of an accen of experiences from their own childhood situated in the present era hides features of a certain unique atmosphere and non-repetability in it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ela Porubanová